I have a 1996 Pontiac Bonneville SSei. Right now I have an energizer battery in the car that my wife had installed at Pep Boys last September. On the casing, the battery says it has 700 cca (cold cranking amps). If I leave the car for 3 or 4 or 5 days, I can't get it to start. The engine turns over but "diesels" and can't quite get going. Smells like it'* flooded after a few attempts at this. If I jump the battery, it starts up. If I drive the car for a while and then later restart it the same day, it starts up fine. So, I hypothesize that the battery may not have enough juice.
1. The battery terminal connectors are clean and the connection is tight.
2. It'* between 70 to 90 degrees here in California. I did a 10 second load test on the battery, and the meter says it has ~800 cranking amps when it'* in this mode where it can't start. However, it'* an analog meter, so who knows how accurate that is. I have to eyeball the reading.
3. The meter says the alternator voltage is fine, around 14 volts.
4. I checked the parasitic drain on the battery, and after a 10 minute wait, it'* 10 milliamps. Less than I would have expected.
So, I'm tempted to conclude that I just need a battery with more cranking amps, and that the small parasitic drain adds up over that time period to push it below threshold. The battery installed in the 2003 model have 770 cca. The sears website says that my 1996 bonneville should have 770 cca battery. I'm feeling like: heck, with all these hassles, I'm going to put in 900 cca, or more if I can find a battery that fits with more.
1. Am I solving the problem?
2. What'* the maximum cca battery I can put in this car?
Energizer makes a 900 cca, as do others. If I could put in 1000 cca, or more I'd do it. A healthy reserve never hurts.