Winter is finally here. The thermometer has dropped below freezing and snow is beginning to fall. You wake up to start your car… and the battery is dead. This has happened to almost everyone in cold climates at least once. The stress of calling to find a boost can be hard. Waiting for a tow truck to boost you can take a long time. In order to avoid this scenario in the future, there are a few things to consider.
Why Does Your Car Battery Die in the Winter?
There are a few reasons why your car battery will die in the winter. First, a short explanation of how they work. A car battery contains lead plates mixed with liquid electrolytes that create an electric charge. These react to hot and cold temperatures. In warmer weather this reaction time is quick. This means the battery produces a higher charge. Colder weather slows it down, so much that it doesn't charge at all. This means the car will not start. To sum it up, your battery uses more power in the winter. To avoid being stranded with a dead battery, here are a few tips to help your battery last longer.
1. Park in a Garage or Get a Charger
If you have a garage or underground parking, it is best to park there. Keeping your car warm is paramount to extending the life of your battery. If you don't have access to either, it is a good idea to invest in a battery charger. There are a few different varieties to meet your needs.
2. Don't Idle
Contrary to what we learned in the past, it is not wise to idle your vehicle in the winter. Some people think just starting their car is enough to keep the battery alive. You need to drive 15-20 minutes in order to charge the battery. So, if conditions provide, take it for a drive.
3. Regular Checkups
Regular maintenance is important in order to extend the life of your vehicle. This includes your battery life. There are tools available to check how much charge is left.
4. Use Less Accessories
It's tempting to get in, crank the heat and turn to your favourite radio station. However, these accessories use power and will drain your battery faster in the winter.
5. Keep It Clean
A dirty battery won't be as efficient. Debris and corrosion add to resistance. Be sure to clear away grime to keep your battery clean.
Take time to follow those tips to prevent being stranded in the cold. Following this advice can protect and increase the life of your battery.