How Cold Weather Can Affect Your Battery

February 18, 2020 11:28 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

If you live in an area that sees some very cold temperatures during the winter, or if you find yourself vacationing or working in such an area, it is important to understand the kinds of effects those temperatures could have on your vehicle. Most vehicle batteries are designed to operate most efficiently between 30 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit; above or below that range, you might experience some strain on your battery and possibly need to call for heavy duty roadside assistance in Ocala, FL.

When the weather gets particularly cold, starting up the engine will likely take twice as much power as it would need under other circumstances. This is why people tend to have problems with their batteries dying during the winter.

There are a couple reasons for this. For one thing, in colder weather, it becomes harder for the engine to turn over, because the oil inside the engine is more likely to have thickened. This means your battery needs much more current to get the job done than it normally would. Otherwise, the engine simply won’t turn over.

In addition, the chemical reactions in the system that produce electricity start to get slower when the temperature falls. This makes it much harder for the battery to create the amount of energy it would in normal circumstances, let alone twice as much power to make up for the issues with the oil in the engine.

How to prevent cold weather issues with vehicle batteries

Knowing there are likely to be some challenges associated with the operation of your car’s battery in the winter, there are some things you can do to protect your vehicle.

For starters, you can store your vehicle inside a garage, if at all possible. You might have more vehicles than space in the garage, in which case you’ll need to prioritize which cars you want to take the best care of. If you have an accumulation of other items in your garage, clear the way so you can protect your vehicles.

You should also avoid charging phones or GPS devices in your car during the winter if you know your battery is already strained. This just unnecessarily places even more strain on the system.

Pop the hood every now and then to check the appearance of the battery, and if it appears to be dirty, clean it off. Excessive dirt and grime can result in the battery draining power faster than it would if it were clean.

If you need to replace the battery, make sure you do so with a battery of at least the same quality as the one you had previously used. You can get battery recommendations from a mechanic or dealer. This is not a part of your vehicle on which you’ll want to cheap out. In addition, the electrical system should always charge the battery at the proper rate, as over- or undercharging can result in some significant damage to the battery.

To learn more about what you should look for when checking batteries, or to arrange for heavy duty roadside assistance in Ocala, FL, contact the team at J & M Trailer Repair today.

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