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What Does RC Mean on a Battery (Definition and Guide)

Getting a new battery but not sure what RC means?

RC or Reserve Capacity is how many minutes your battery can consistently supply power without going under the voltage needed to run your engine. It also indicates the battery’s total runtime and performance. For example, A 150 RC means your battery can fully support the engine for 150 minutes.

Getting Started

RC or Reserve Capacity indicates how long the battery will continue to power your vehicle if the alternator fails.

The RC number is given in minutes. It tells users how long the battery can provide consistent 25 amps at 80°F without going below the minimum voltage (1.75 volts per cell) needed to run your engine.

AGM battery reserve capacity label information
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RC also indicates your battery’s runtime and performance.

The difference between 150 and 200 RC is huge if you use the batteries to power an electrical engine like trolling motors. These types of engines completely rely on the battery to run.

You’ll need a higher RC rating or multiple batteries to ensure your engine won’t die out while traveling.

For cars, RC value is crucial for car safety.

RC is extremely important because if your alternator breaks while driving, the battery will be completely responsible for powering the car’s electrical system. This includes the headlights, electric pumps, windshield lighters, and other electrical accessories.

Let’s say your battery has an RC value of 180; this means the battery can continuously supply a current of 25 amps for 180 minutes (3 hours). Ideally, this should be enough time to get the vehicle to a repair shop or any safe location.

Other Important Battery Ratings

RC shouldn’t be your sole basis when choosing a battery. Here are other parameters to consider when choosing an effective battery for your vehicle.

ratings and info of a battery
Video | FIX MY CAR

Amp Hour (Ah)

Ampere Hours or Ah is the amount of current your battery provides per hour.

Ah, the rating is also used to indicate the capacity of your battery. Generally, large or deep-cycle batteries have high Ah ratings to support demanding vehicles.

Note that a high Ah rating doesn’t mean high power output – it’s just the current the battery can supply.

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA)

Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) battery information
Video | Project Farm

Cold Cranking Amps or CCA is current or amps the battery can provide for 30 seconds at 0°F.

CCA is crucial for cranking the engine during extremely cold weather. The CCA is the raw power the battery can provide when starting your engine. In the case of cars, most batteries have 300 to 500 CCA, which is enough for your engine to work effectively during winter.


Video References

Project Farm


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About Alex Robertson

AvatarCertifications: B.M.E.
Education: University Of Denver - Mechanical Engineering
Lives In: Denver Colorado

Hi, I’m Alex! I’m a co-founder, content strategist, and writer and a close friend of our co-owner, Sam Orlovsky. I received my Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.) degree from Denver, where we studied together. My passion for technical and creative writing has led me to help Sam with this project.

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