When it comes to cars and their batteries, they can be a bit finicky. If you have a car battery that is dead and needs replacing, you will need to know how many amps your car needs to start.
Moreover, even if the battery is just drained, you still need to know how many amps the battery needs to be jump started.
All too often, people will go and buy a new car battery, only to realize that the one they got is not nearly big enough to get the car started. Today we want to talk about how many amps a car needs to start, and whether or not 300 amps of power is enough to start your average car.
Is 300 Amps Enough?
What you need to know first is that the smaller the engine of the car you need to start is, the smaller the battery is needed. Therefore, the smaller the car, the less power the battery needs to draw in order for the engine to start. So, asking if 300 amps is enough to start a car is a bit misleading, as different sizes of cars and other vehicles will require more or less amperage to get going.
For instance, a smaller car, like a city car, a small Smart Car, a Mini Cooper, or something else equally small, will most likely be able to start using 300 amps. In fact, there are now many modern cars which could most likely start using 250 amps, or even a bit less. Motors are now often being made much smaller due to issues with fuel consumption and emissions. However, this really only applies to smaller cars. If it is a larger vehicle we are talking about, then no, 300 amps may not be quite enough to get it started.
How Many Amps to Start A Car?
So, when it comes down to it, 300 amps should be enough for most smaller city cars. However, to be safe, you should count on 400 amps at the least. After all, when we say small city cars, we do mean really small cars. A mid-size sedan or station wagon, or even smaller SUVs will take 400 amps at the least for the battery to start, if not more.
As we mentioned before, it all depends on the size of your car. The larger it is, the more amps it is going to need to get started. Your average SUV is going to need at least 500 amps, and something even bigger, such as a large pickup truck, is going to need up to 1,000 amps, or more.
These are not exact numbers, as every car battery and car is going to be different depending on the battery itself, the size of the engine, and the weight of the car. A small mini city car will do with 300 amps, but something like a Ford F150 pickup truck will need closer to 1,000 amps. Therefore, if you are going to buy something like a portable jump starter, or something of the like, make sure that it can deliver enough juice to actually start your vehicle, whatever size it may be.
Could I Put a Smaller Battery in My Car?
So, it really depends on the car itself, its weight, and the age of the battery. For instance, if you have a car that requires 400 amps to start, you might be able to get away with buying a car battery that can deliver 350 amps of power. Now, this might be fine in the beginning, for the first couple of years, but if you know about batteries, you know that they slowly lose capacity over time.
A battery that starts off with 400 amps, 3 or 4 years down the line, could lose 100 amps of capacity or more. Therefore, if you buy a car battery that is too weak, but just strong enough to start the car, you will probably have to end up buying a new one a few years later. Of course, there is also the fact that if the car is too big for the smaller battery, the engine might just not start at all. Keep in mind that you also don’t want to go overboard with a much stronger battery. Going too far in either direction is not a good idea.
The bottom line is that 300 amps is enough to start a smaller car, but that’s it. For anything midsized or larger, you will most likely need more juice.