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Old 07-29-2003, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default recommended battery cca for a 1996 bonneville ssei?

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.
So, questions:

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.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:40 PM   #2
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I don't think it has much to do with the cca of your battery. And 10 ma is nothing.

If the engine turns over, but doesn't quite start, that sounds more like a fuel or ignition problem to me. Maybe you have a leaky injector that floods the engine when it sits.

It could possibly be the battery if it is bad, and the voltage is so low right after you crank it that the electronics won't work correctly. Put a voltmeter on the battery and see what the voltage is when it is doing this "dieseling"

Generally I just get the largest Delco battery that fits the car.
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Old 07-29-2003, 11:49 PM   #3
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Teleplayer: thanks for your reply. If it'* a fuel or injector problem, though, why would jumping the battery start the car right up?
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:00 AM   #4
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Sometimes when the starter wears out it begins to draw too much amperage from the battery. This can mimic a weak battery. Just an idea.
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dimprov
Teleplayer: thanks for your reply. If it'* a fuel or injector problem, though, why would jumping the battery start the car right up?
If it is flooded, the faster you spin the motor the better chance you have to start it.

Try this: Next time you let it sit, try starting it with the accelerator pushed down about halfway. If it is flooded this will help clear it. If you put the pedal all the way down, some of the computers will actually shut off the injectors, and you can try that too
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Old 07-30-2003, 02:09 AM   #6
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jr's3800: Thanks for the info! Tends to confirm what I thought. What model of enerstart maxx are you using? I tried going to walmart'* online site, but it steared me toward a 770cca battery, not the 950+ cca you were referring to.

Does Walmart do tradeins on energizer batteries?
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Old 07-30-2003, 02:20 AM   #7
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What are the upper limits on what kind of battery I can put in my 1996 bonneville SSEi? Is it just hte battery dimensions and side terminal mount, or are there aother limitations? I'm new to this.
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Old 07-30-2003, 02:34 AM   #8
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I just read the following on a website:

"The Reserve Capacity rating is the second most important consideration while buying a battery. This is because of the effects of an increased parasitic (key off) load and in emergencies. Reserve Capacity is the number of minutes a fully charged battery at 80 degrees F (26.7 degrees C) can be discharged at 25 amps until the voltage falls below 10.5 volts. More RC is better in every case! In a hot climate, for example, if your car has a 360 OEM cranking amp requirement, then a 400 CCA rated battery with 120 minute RC with more electrolyte would be more desirable than one with 1000 CCA with 90 minutes of RC. If more RC is required, two six-volt batteries can be connected in series or two (or more) 12 volt batteries can be connected in parallel. Within a BCI group size, generally the battery with larger RC will weigh more because it contains more lead."

Assuming this is true, which battery for the bonneville ssei has the highest reserve capacity?
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:13 PM   #9
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It appears that the recommended BCI group size is 78. At least if the battery selectors on various websites are to be believed. The 900 cca alternatives seem to be of group size 34DT. What does DT stand for? Anyway, at least the physical dimensions look like a fit. Size 78 is 10-1/4 x 7-1/16 x 7-11/16 inches. Size 34 is 10-1/4 length x 6-13/16 width x 7-7/8 high. So, size 34 is 3/16 inches higher, and there'* obviously clearance for that.

Anyway, what does DT stand for? I haven't looked at the method for attaching the battery, but I'm assuming it can accomodate these small variances in size. Is that corect?
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Old 07-30-2003, 12:44 PM   #10
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Sounds better than my guess, which was "Delivery Truck".
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