While cold weather doesn’t necessitate a battery change or upgrade, you can’t rule out such solutions, as well as some car battery tips for beating the winter months. A car battery for cold climates should allow your vehicle to beat winter temperatures with flying colors. However, the following measures with or without a special battery should prove effective.
If you’ve never had your car’s battery dying on you on a frigid winter morning in the middle of the road, count yourself favored by fate. Hundreds of thousands of motorists suffer from this problem every winter, according to some leading battery manufacturers across the globe.
While there’s no telling when your vehicle’s battery turns in the towel, there are tips for effectively avoiding car battery inconveniences due to cold weather.
Why Is the Winter Weather a Factor?
Let’s touch on the science behind car batteries for a bit. A car battery is where the chemical reaction that creates a motor-powering charge takes place. Not only does this charge start the motor, but it’s also responsible for powering the vehicle’s other components like taillights and headlights.
Colder temperatures interfere with the smoothness of this process, reducing the battery’s ability to generate a charge. It’s worth noting that this is mainly an issue for older, more worn-out batteries, and new batteries can usually withstand the winter barrage.
Keeping a Car Battery Charged Through the Winter
If your car remains in constant use throughout the winter, keeping its battery charged shouldn’t be a problem. The alternator should keep it fully charged just fine. Problems tend to arise when you have an older battery, which happens when your battery has been in use for more than three years.
Whether or not a car battery is used on a regular basis, its age can make it prone to going flat when exposed to frigid temperatures. Here’s how you can keep that from happening:
Use a Trickle Charger
From the word “trickle,” this type of charger charges at a slow pace, keeping the car battery at maximum capacity without overcharging. It is a great accessory for cars stuck in the garage for most of the winter. Plus, it is especially useful for vehicles with older batteries, whether or not the batteries are put to use.
Keep Your Car Covered
If you’re fortunate enough to own a garage, you may forego this option. If not, make sure to secure a good car cover right away.
A parking space that’s out in the open can expose your car and its components to the frigid temperatures of winter nights. It’s safe to say there is a chance some of your car’s parts may not make it through the winter without this essential piece of accessory.
Take Precautionary Measures
A little bit of this and that can mean all the difference for your car battery. Things like not forgetting to switch the headlights and taillights off help reduce the chances of getting a worn-out battery.
How To Maintain Your Car Battery
In time, your car battery will eventually fall flat and cease to function properly. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t delay its retirement should you want to. Help extend car battery life by following these tips not only in winter but the entire year:
Use Your Car
It won’t bode well for the car battery and the car itself to keep the vehicle confined to the garage most of the time. Driving your car on a regular basis ensures the battery gets the full benefits of the alternator, a device that charges the battery when the car is running.
Get the Battery Inspected Regularly
Most modern car batteries are built with some sort of gauge that measures charge level. In time, this gauge may cease to function as it’s supposed to. Have a mechanic teach you to read it while it’s still useful.
When In Doubt, Leave It to the Experts
Even better, leave it to the professionals in the first place. It can be tempting to leverage whatever car experience you have to try and fix your car’s batteries. However, this won’t usually lead to good results.
There are different aspects to car battery maintenance you might not be aware of. Overlooking or failing to consider them when implementing a solution could potentially make things worse.
Getting a More Winter-Appropriate Battery Is Not Necessary
Unless you’re dealing with a car battery older than three years, a winter replacement won’t usually be in order. Most of the time, leveraging the tips we shared is enough to keep your car’s battery running strong throughout the winter.
Then again, this is your precious investment we’re talking about. If you can, you shouldn’t hesitate to equip it with anything that boosts its life expectancy whenever you feel like it. Just make sure to consult a certified mechanic before doing so.
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