Does The Cold Weather Kill Your Car Battery?

It is prevalent for car batteries, particularly older ones, to die more often during the cold weather. This can be attributed to the weather – it kills batteries. The capacity significantly reduces in this period, making it more susceptible to the weather. 

Have you ever wondered why your car is more prone to disappointing you in the cold weather than it usually does? If you have ever climbed into your car in the winter with the hope of driving somewhere only to discover it is dead, then it is likely because of the battery. It loses about twenty percent of its usual charge capacity during the cold. 

If you live in colder climes, this blog post is for you. Those that can also relate to much colder seasons need this. When your car battery dies repeatedly, the performance diminishes until it eventually goes bad. Of course, charging a car battery is not exactly everyone’s favorite chore too, so let us learn how to prevent it. 

Does the cold weather drain your car battery?

We will not directly say the cold weather drains car batteries, but it plays a significant role in depleting them. It reduces the battery power by about twenty percent. 

However, the damage does not begin here. Aside from the weather’s pressure on car batteries, the heat from the summer days already did considerable damage. Corrosion occurs, and so does the extreme heat cause the electrolytes in the battery to evaporate. 

The transition from the summer days to the colder ones is not always seamless, especially for older batteries. The contrasting temperatures will result in a strain that makes maintaining the current capacity harder. 

a car engine in cold weather

Why do car batteries die during cold weather?

There is an additional strain on your car battery during the cold weather. The engine oil sometimes freezes, making it harder to ignite the vehicle. A dead battery is unavoidable when coupled with a self-discharge or the natural battery depletion that occurs when a battery is not in use. 

An electrochemical reaction is vital when powering a vehicle, and it is generated in the car battery, sent to the terminals, and then used to power the engine. But when the weather is significantly colder, you can expect the chemical reactions to slow down and weaken the battery. 

How to keep your car battery from dying during the cold weather 

A dead battery is fairly prevalent in cold temperatures. But you can prevent it because charging it in this condition is not the best experience. So, you need this information: 

Check the age 

The age of your battery will largely determine how it will function in cold temperatures. The older it is, the higher the chances of dying when exposed to cold days. 

Luckily, you can check the age of your battery to see if the age factor will be favorable. You can find this information on top or at the top side of your battery. It is usually indicated with letters and digits. 

Have it inspected 

To prevent your battery from constantly failing during cold days, it is best to have it inspected at least twice a year. That way, you can be fully aware of its battery power and if it can hold its current through the winter days.

You will also discover corrosion on the battery in some cases. This can further affect your battery by preventing it from getting a proper charge. Corrosion buildup can interfere with the firmness of the battery terminals, thereby interfering with a solid charge cycle. 

In that case, your car battery will likely die more often, especially in the cold weather. However, there are home remedies, such as vinegar, Epsom salt, and baking soda solution. 

Park it in a warm place 

It is no secret that a car battery barely does well in cold climes. So, you will have to avoid leaving your vehicle exposed to the cold. During this period, your vehicle should not be left in the driveway. You can park it in your garage instead. 

Take it for a drive 

Keeping your car cooped up during cold days will prevent the battery from recharging. For one, a car battery self-discharges, and it will do this faster during the winter. 

To avoid waking up to a dead car battery, it is best to drive it around regularly. Give it enough time to recharge the current it must have lost to the cold and self-discharging. Thirty minutes will suffice.

Cut back on car accessory use 

The use of car accessories like your multimedia system, the cigarette lighter, air conditioning, lighting system, among others, should be minimized during the winter days. Again, there is a twenty percent battery capacity loss during this weather, and accessories individually take a toll on the battery when the engine is not running. 

You should also ensure that every car accessory that you turn on is turned off before leaving the car. This also includes the wiper and headlights. 

Get a trickle charger 

A trickle battery charger is a device that charges your battery slowly. It is attached to the battery to ensure steady and enough current provision. Many people use it because of emergencies, particularly during the winter days. It stays connected to the battery until you disconnect it and will make it readily available for use. 

You can also get a maintenance charger. It is also called a float or smart charger, and it maintains the charge level of a battery charger for long periods. 

Install a battery blanket 

A battery blanket is an essential battery accessory. It uses electricity to ensure warmth around your battery, thereby preventing the fluid from freezing. Battery blankets are pretty easy to install and cost only a substantial sum. 

Bottom line 

A dead car battery can be a bother, but it is even worse when it happens during the winter. This period witnessed the replacement of many car batteries because of its toll on them. But again, we trust that you will not be a victim of this because you know how to keep your car from dying during the cold winter days. 

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