Originally Posted by Eric L.
No no...the stock battery is 325CCA (or was it 375CCA). At least on the 4th gen Maximas. Pretty weak, but when the stock battery was still holding charge, 375CCA is all you need to start the car. Funny thing is that the Altima comes with a 550CCA battery. I think since the Maxima is made in Japan, it comes with a different battery. My stock battery which failed the bench test (although it still started just fine) after 3.5 years, was made by Hitachi.
So 675CCA is plenty powerful, way more than you need, to start the car. I guess if you want a 1000CCA that will probably murder the starter each time you start the car(think about it...all that current, even though you only need around 1/3 of that to start the car).
To clarify some misinformation from various repliers, not just you Eric L...
1. The battery is only designed to start the engine. The alternator is supposed to supply the energy needed to run the engine and stock accessories once the engine is running.
2. The cold cranking amps indicates how much current the battery can provide to the starter when the vehicle has sat for a while and become cold again. Usually from 1 hour to a few hours depending on environment.
3. If the starter draws for example 500 amps and the battery has a rating of 1000 CCA, it will not put more stress on the starter. The starter will only draw what it needs. However starters tend to draw more current as they age and become worn out.
4. I haven't looked up the stock battery CCA for a 4th gen maxima, but my battery has a Nissan sticker on it and I think it says approximately 550 CCA, which is a base point I would start with in a general since. Optima batteries are over-rated for normal use, but can be beneficial when using extra accessories such as an upgraded stereo with amp and subs, etc.
5. Since we're on the stereo subject, let me say that if you install an amp and subs without upgrading your alternator, then you will likely shorten the life of your battery because the alternator is designed to run factory options and the engine with just a bit more output to simply maintain the power lost from the battery during starting cycles.
No matter how big of a battery you install, you shouldn't rely on it to power extra loads like stereos and such.
I work at a parts house and we have regular customers who own taxi cab fleets. They're always coming in for replacement batteries. Every time I see their engine bays, they have extra wires hooked directly to the battery to run their clocking systems, 2-way radios and various things that draw more power than the alternator is designed for. Now, we simply deny them warranty replacement unless they either buy an upgraded alternator and/or show proof that one has been installed. Because they cost our company lots of money in free replacement warranties. I had to deny a private customer a replacement the other day because they bought an optima red top and killed it with a bad alternator. They got a new alt installed and we were happy to replace the battery.
6. Another kind of battery called a Deep cycle battery is made to have a constant drain on them like a fishing boat trolling motor. That's why you'll kill a starting battery if your alt is bad.
I know this was long -winded but I hope it helps everyone understand the basics so their cars run better for longer.