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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Am I reading the WIS correctly that the OEM battery on a 2002 9-3 SE is 780 CCA (per EN; 800 CCA SAE)? Does anyone actually make a battery of that capacity that fit our vehicles? Available here in the US?

The largest capacity I can find is 650 CCA. Considering the battery that came with my car is 550 CCA - and it's lasted the 5 years I've owned the car - I'm guessing 650 CCA is acceptable.

Figured I'd poll the audience!
 

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I just replaced my battery with an Exide group 47 battery from Home Depot (cheapest around by $30), and it's rated at 650 CCA. The one that was in the car, which was from some discount warehouse chain in Oregon I had never heard of, was 600 CCA. It was barely coping with Seattle's recent high 20s cold spell. I haven't seen a group 47 battery, which seems to be the only current size that fits under the battery cover, that's 780 CCA.
 

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I use the Optima red top battery which is 720 CCA. I had one on my old NG900 and I have one on my current 9-3, they have never let me down. Although they are pretty expensive right now, a few years ago they were much less
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I use the Optima red top battery which is 720 CCA. I had one on my old NG900 and I have one on my current 9-3, they have never let me down. Although they are pretty expensive right now, a few years ago they were much less
Which Red Top will fit in the 900/9-3? Did you have to modify the battery harness or tray to fit it?
 

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Without digging out WIS, I think your owner's manual will simply specify an amp-hour capacity.

I'd say that any good-quality battery in the specified size (Group 47) will do the job for you in Seattle. I put a NAPA Legend Import battery in my 900 in 2011, and its "650 CCA" has started the car fine ever since.

I have to smile at "high 20s cold snap". This December, I visited my friend's cottage for a few days, and overnight lows were as low as -30º, and -15º was a pretty warmish day. No block heater or anything, and the car started right up when it was time to leave.
 

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You can use the larger battery from a 9-5 (H6/48) and get more CCA, but it won't fit under the battery cover. It does fit in the tray. I have one in my ng900. The cables can be a stretch for height to get over the terminals (OK once installed).

FYI - There were only two companies making lead acid batteries in the USA last I checked. They get branded under the names you know. The better one is Johnson Controls and theirs are usually warranted 5 -6 years. The other company's batteries (Excide?) tend to be warranted 3 years (and last that long).

FWIW, Sears recently cut their Diehard warranty back to three years, although I think they are still made by Johnson... actuarials at work, no doubt. I think Autozone still sells a Johnson made battery with a full warranty. Advance Auto has bounced around manufacturers. You can tell by the code on the battery who made it but I don't recall the details.
 

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Okay, I looked at WIS. It specifies 700 amps starting current. Without digging through all the standards, I'm pretty sure that that's going to be a bigger number than Cold Cranking Amps, which is at -18ºC.

As the OP stated, the car has been starting with a somewhat undersized battery for five years. There's no point in getting the highest CCA in a place like Seattle (and even less so in a hot climate). And I don't see any reason to stuff a larger battery in the car. Maybe if you were living in Kapuskasing ON or Rabbit Kettle NU, but the Pacific NW?

I went through some research when I thought my 9-5 battery was going bad. If that had turned out to be the case, I would have purchased the highest-level AC Delco Freedom battery. They're good batteries and no core charge from the local distributor.

As it turns out, my 9-5's battery is fine, the starter is sluggish. This is a "feature" of many 9-5 cars, which I think is strongly correlated to the Mitsubishi starter. Which, ha ha, is also found in 2002-2003 OG9-3 cars. :eek:

To add, Consumer Reports has some Group 47 batteries evaluated. Your library should be able to provide this info.
 
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