Cold weather is hard on car batteries but you can take steps to keep yours functioning throughout the winter.
Don’t be surprised if you go out to start your car one of these cold mornings and find it wont start because the battery has died. Car batteries don’t do well in colder weather and are notorious for failing when it turns cold.
“A car battery gets drastically more worn from winter temperatures. At 32 degrees Fahrenheit, a car battery loses about 35 percent of its strength. At 0 F, a car battery loses about 60 percent of its strength,” according to accuweather.com. “Operating at reduced strength, a car’s battery is tasked with powering the car’s entire electrical system, this including vital electrical engine control systems. During the winter, the engine’s motor oil becomes thicker, thus the battery needs to supply enough power to the starter motor to turn the engine over in that thicker, heavier environment.
“A car’s engine is already daunting enough for a cold battery, although when adding up all other accessories that are being run by the car throughout the winter it’s more likely to send the battery over the edge.”
Accuweather.com offers several tips to help avoid a cold, dead battery. Among them:
- “Power off all car accessories when the engine is not running.
- “Ensure interior car lights are all off before exiting the vehicle.
- “Perform periodic corrosion checks, and if you see corrosion, scrub it off with a baking soda and water solution.
- “Make sure the battery is tightly fastened, especially if you drive on bumpy roads.
- “When possible, store a car in a garage.
- “Consider purchasing a battery blanket that you can install around your car battery to provide extra warmth.”
And, of course, have a Madison auto care expert check your battery before cold weather sets in. Replace the battery if it’s near the end of its life.
If you don’t have a regular Madison auto care specialist you can trust, check out the auto care technicians at one of Madison Auto Care's seven conveniently located NAPA service centers: Clausen Auto, Handel Auto, Genin’s Auto, Capitol Tire, Odana Tire, Hansen’s Auto, or Aeschbach Auto.
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