Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Simple Question: Car Batteries

My backup generator has a battery that needs replacing soon.  The battery in there is an Interstate Batteries mt-26, 525 CCA, 655 CA.  I would prefer ordering from Amazon.  I know CCA indicates how many amps it can deliver for 30 seconds at 0 degrees F.  That's the only relevant number, right?  Amazon does not to list CCA!


  1. The mt26 means its a group 26 battery. I sell allot of them every winter when folks start their generators. It may also say BCI group 26.
    The napa number is 7526. Hope that helps

  2. You need a group 26 Battery or it mite be called BCI group 26.
    The Napa number is 7526. Its what fits most generators. Can you tell i work at a parts store

  3. Sounds like CCA is the number you are interested in. (Cold Cranking Amps) Though there is also Amp hours, that isn't relevant for a battery that will only start an engine.

    I'm going to guess - but you should check and verify - the MT-26 is a group 26 battery. not to be confused with 26R which will have the positive terminal on the wrong side. Anyway that group number determines what fits in the space available.

    An Amazon search didn't turn up any Group 26, or not in the first few pages. (Thought they did return some results...)

    I don't think anyone is going to ship a wet lead-acid battery, which leaves either gel (finicky) or AGM (expensive). Or leaves you to buy a container (or 2) of battery acid. At that point, you may as well buy the battery at an auto parts store.

    Most auto-parts stores will list the CCA of batteries. So you can look them up but still order from Amazon - if they have them. Or check with the Manufacturer.

    Good Luck. Batteries - for lawn mowers and ATVs - have been giving me fits for the past 2 months. And even had to replace the battery in my SUV this year.

  4. Look up the manufacturers website to check the specs before you decide on a battery. Where you are, CCA is an important measurement. You can be sure it will be 11nty below zero if you need to fire it up!

  5. I take it this is for a battery sold by Amazon and not another merchant on Amazon? Either way not listing the amp ratings is poor form. Would make me suspicious. Looks like MT-26 is this: https://www.interstatebatteries.com/products/mt-26

    If you are set on that brand (I have used them and have no complaints) there are Intersate stores in Boise (one on Chinden in Garden City). I can't seem to get it to show up on Amazon when I search so can't compare prices. I suggest trying Costco as for brick and mortar goes they seem to have the best prices on batteries and Intersate as far as I know is the OEM for Costco.

    Either way you need a group 26 battery.

  6. Clayton

    Perhaps the "Find Battery" section of Interstate Batteries' website will help you locate that information - either directly on the site or by contacting Customer Service (Telephone Number provided).


  7. It looks like that battery is a group 26 battery (SLI batteries are categorized into different groups by size and capacity).

    You are looking for a group 26 SLI battery (starting, lighting, ignition).

    You will probably be fine with any group 26 SLI battery, as batteries within a group usually have similar capacities (lead-acid battery manufacturing is a pretty mature field).

    I would probably look at a local battery store unless you get a truly huge kickback from Amazon. Batteries cost a small fortune to ship, as they are HEAVY.

  8. If the space for your battery is constrained you must replace it with one of the same size & shape = Group 26. Otherwise, any size will do -Group 24 for instance.

    Most generators are not a heavy starting load so don't worry much about the CA or CCA which means how much oomph (scientific term) it can put out for a few seconds in cold (CA) or very cold (CCA) weather.

    I think the real difference in batteries is their construction: Thick, well spaced plates for less oomph but sturdy and can handle frequent deep discharges, or thin plates with greater surface area and more quick oomph, but delicate and not as long lived.

    I'd get a deep discharge (sometimes called marine) battery, 70 or so amp-hours and wet acid, not gel or AGM (too expensive, not needed)

  9. The CA means cranking amps (as opposed to CCA for cold cranking amps). CA is rated at 32 degrees F, and is basically just a method they use to jack up their numbers. I always go by CCA.

    If your application will take a physically larger battery, I'd probably try one, or even make room. Optima has a Group 25 (720 CCA, 44 Ah) and 75/25 (same with multiple terminals), which is about an inch longer and taller. I've had good luck with Optimas - much better than flooded lead acid. You can get them from Amazon.

  10. Walmart has a new battery in stock most stores that is 149.95 that has a 5 year free replacement. It is a agm battery and is a good battery for your application.