Freeze! You aren’t going anywhere. Not with a dead car battery, at least. Christmas dinner at Grandma’s house will have to wait. Battery in car keeps dying your holiday travels on track by watching for things that can weaken and drain your car battery, especially cold weather affect car battery.
How your car battery works?
Before we jump into what drains a car battery, let’s take a quick detour to understand how a battery works. The battery in your car includes energy cells and a unique lead-acid chemical resolution that works jointly to deliver a jolt of energy to get things moving and grooving when you turn your key in the ignition. As NASA puts it, a battery “translates chemical energy into electrical energy.” Your car’s engine won’t start without the battery, and the electronics won’t work.
Battery died in cold weather
Car batteries can die any time of year, but they mostly tend to kick the bucket during winter. This is due to the way electric charges are created in a car battery: Liquid electrolytes mix with lead plates inside the battery, producing a reaction that creates an electric charge.
When the battery is warm, the rate of that reaction is increased. This means less power is required to deliver voltage to the starter (which starts the car) and keep that voltage stabilized (so the engine continues to run). When the battery is cold, the opposite happens.
The reaction rate is slowed, which means a higher charge is required to start and run the vehicle. At 0℃, a typical Car Battery loses about 35% of its strength. At -17℃, it loses about 60%. Over a battery’s lifespan, as it naturally deteriorates from internal corrosion, it becomes more difficult for the battery to deliver that higher charge during cold snaps. When this happens, the battery is more likely to die.
Signs that you have a flat battery
So, how do you understand if your car has a flat battery? You have a flat battery if you don’t hear anything when you turn the ignition key or notice a faint whining noise, but the starter motor doesn’t kick in. There are other alarm signs too. For example, the ignition glow on your dashboard may not arrive on, or you might not be capable to unlock your automobile via remote central locking.
It’s important to be aware that other problems cause identical effects, such as a faulty alternator or starter engine. If you have a fairly new battery and it saves going flat, the alternator is presumably to condemn. Flickering dashboard lamps also suggest to this issue. Meanwhile, a clicking sound is a sign that your starter motor has gone when you turn the legend in the ignition. If you’re not certain what’s causing the issue, you’ll need to arrange to have your car checked over by a technician.
Does cold weather affect car battery and how to fix flat batterties
Flat batteries always appear to happen at the worst possible times. If you’re in a rush to get someplace and you discover that your car’s not cooperating, you may be able to jump-start it. However, you’ll need access to another vehicle and some jumper cables to do this.
If your battery is old or injured, you may benefit from investing in a new one for a more long-term solution. We offer a full car battery replacement service. You can purchase a battery online and book an appointment to have it fitted at your local Kwik Fit center.
Steps to protect your battery during cold weather
Fortunately, You can take steps to protect your car battery when cold weather strikes. For example, if you have access to a garage, park your vehicle in it to shield it from the weather. If you regularly use your car to make short trips, it’s generally a good idea to charge your battery at least once a week during cold snaps. This is especially important if the battery is over three years old.
If the worst should happen and you do get a flat, you may want to consider investing in a car battery booster. This is a rechargeable device that can clip onto your battery to get it working again. This handy kit doesn’t require you to use jump leads and works more quickly than a conventional car battery charger. Make sure you get your battery checked regularly, specifically if it’s over three years aged. As they age, storms plant to become weaker, and they can be particularly badly affected by the cold. If you notice that your battery isn’t holding its charge effectively, it’s probably time to get a new one.
To conserve battery power, make sure you switch all power loads off before turning your engine off at the end of a journey. This includes your lamps, wiper blades, radio, and heater. Also, before journeys, ensure that all these things are traded off before turning your ignition on. In general, avoid using heaters, heated screens, and heated seats when you don’t need to.
Bear in mind that some in-car sat navs and MP3 and DVD players can drain your battery if you fail to disjoin them, so this is another thing to pay attention to. It’s also important to ensure that you don’t leave any interior lights on in your car. This includes in the boot.
By comprehending why your battery is more likely to fail in the cold and taking steps to prevent this, you should be able to avoid getting an inconvenient flat. If you’re concerned about the charging capability of your vehicle’s battery, don’t leave it until your car accomplishes’t start. Call your nearest Kwik Fit center instead, and our experts will carry out a free check.
Top 3 things that drain your car battery in winter
Drain #1: Human error
Unfortunately, the number one drain on your car battery is most often you! It can be tempting to rush inside and cozy up in front of the fireplace in winter.
But before you do, check that you’ve powered down your vehicle and all its accessories to avoid a dead battery. Make sure your interior lights and headlights are off. Some cars’ headlights turn off automatically after a certain time but double-check yours anyway.
Keep your car doors closed also. If a door is left ajar, your lights may stay on and drain your car battery. cold weather affect car battery Unplug all accessories. We recommend unplugging everything that draws power, including your cell phone charger, for a few reasons. When the car is turned off, the USB ports and cigarette lighter sockets receive power.
Also, when you turn the key, your car battery provides a zap of electricity to start the engine. When other electronics are plugged in when you start the car, they can steal some energy. Don’t shortchange your cold weather affect car battery! Give it all the power it needs to get you going. Turn electronics off when the engine’s off.
Battery power for electronics while the engine is off, but only for a limited period of time. Avoid running your radio, GPS, or other electronics for more than 20 minutes when the engine is off to help the battery maintain its charge.
Drain #2: Corrosion or loose cable connections
There are two points of contact on top of your battery—one positive, one negative. These are called terminals, and they stick out like posts on top of the battery. Your car has cables that connect to these posts. Gloved hand removing car battery terminal to clean the battery
Corrosion around the terminals or loose cable connections can interfere with the battery charge and make it harder for the battery to start your engine. A quick terminal cleaning and cable check can help reestablish contact. Clean your battery terminals. Inspect your battery. If you notice a white, powdery substance around the terminals that looks like dead skin on dry hands, you’ve got a case of corrosion.
Use a dry rag to wipe off dirt, grime, and corrosion around the battery terminals. You can even scrub them with baking soda, water, and a toothbrush. Reader’s Digest also recommends adding petroleum jelly to prevent future corrosion.
Tighten loose battery cable connections. The cables that connect your battery to your car can naturally loosen over time. Consult your owner’s manual and if you’re comfortable doing so, use a wrench to tighten the connections. If not, stop by your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care for help.
Drain #3: Freezing temperatures
Cold weather slows everything down, especially the chemical reaction inside your car battery. In fact, at 32°F, a car’s battery loses about 35% of its strength. And at 0°F, it loses up to 60% of its strength—but your engine requires nearly twice as much power to start!
Have you ever tried sucking molasses through a straw? That’s kind of how your car battery feels in winter weather. Luckily, you can help keep your car battery charged in the cold by taking the following precautions: Install a battery blanket.
You can purchase one for around $20 online or at a local auto parts store. Plug the blanket in, wrap it around your battery, and enjoy a smooth start tomorrow morning. Just make sure you follow the instructions that come with the battery blanket! Park your car in the garage or away from the wind. Leave your car in a garage overnight to help protect the battery. If you don’t have a garage, park the front of the car downwind.
Could you give it a charge?
A fully charged battery won’t freeze until -76°F, while a fully discharged battery could start freezing around 32°F. Is your battery fully charged for winter? Let one of our techs check! If you have a car battery drain on the brain, it’s time for a free battery check. Trust us. It’s worth it. Our technicians know batteries and install more than 800,000 car batteries a year. Visit your local Firestone Complete Auto Care for a free battery check today.
To insulate your battery during cold temperatures, purchase an electric blanket. This will prevent your battery fluid from freezing and keep your car warm on cold mornings. Battery blankets are available online for as low as $20 to $50 or at your local auto parts shop.
The battery can freeze if your car is extremely cold. The good news is that the battery must be extremely cold before it freezes. Experts suggest temperatures as low as negative76°. However, your battery can have problems even at 32 degrees.