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Avoiding a Dead Battery in the Winter

Published by Courtney Fanning on

dead battery in the winter

Cold weather can drain your car battery.

Batteries get weaker the colder it gets. In the summer months, the high temperatures speed up the process of corrosion within the battery - the damage done here usually does not appear until the battery becomes more strained with use. As the months get colder, it's common to worry about becoming stranded with a dead car battery in the Winter.

It's true that some batteries are more suitable for cold weather than others, but extreme temperatures impact them all. Here are the most common impacts of cold weather on your car battery, no matter the type:

  • Car batteries produce less electrical current when it’s cold due to the slowness of the chemical reactions
  • Cold temperatures lead to thickened motor oil; the thicker the oil, the more power required to get you to your destination
  • Car batteries struggle to warm up right away in the winter
  • Upgraded features send the power plummeting (i.e charging ports, heat, radio) - multiple currents flowing through aids in the decrease of capacity within the battery

Avoid a Dead Car Battery in the Winter

Keeping your car’s battery in the best shape possible is the best way to prevent being stranded out in the cold, because let's face it, who wants that? Avoiding a dead car battery is the goal heading into any winter season, so here are some things you can do to keep your battery operating at it's best:

 

Aim to drive for 10 minutes or longer:

  • While you drive, your engine heats up the battery. 
  • Keeping the battery working can keep the winter deterioration away

Keep your car parked in a garage if possible:

  • The goal is to keep your battery as warm as possible
  • Thermal blankets are also a great purchase to keep all the heat locked in

Turn off accessories when trying to start your car:

  • Phone and tablet chargers, heat, and the radio are unnecessary when starting your car, and they just put more pressure on your battery

Start a Dead Car Battery in the Winter

To safely jump-start your car, follow these steps:

  • 1 Take out you jumper cables
  • 2 Place both vehicles in park or neutral, both having the ignition off
  • 3 Open up both hoods, and attach one of the red clips to the positive terminal of your battery
  • 4 Attach the other red clip the the positive terminal of the other battery
  • 5 Attach one of the black clips to the negative terminal of the other battery
  • 6 Attach the last black clip to an unpainted metal surface of your car that isn’t near the battery
  • 7 Start the working vehicle, letting it run for a few minutes
  • 8 Try to start your vehicle! If it starts let it run for about 30 minutes to get it fully charged
jumpstart dead battery

How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

Replacing a battery is part of routine car maintenance. Most car batteries last three to five years. However, they often show signs of wear after about 2.5 years of use. Paying attention to your vehicle can prevent being stranded with a dead battery in the winter. While it can die with no warning, there are often signs to indicate that your car battery is failing or close to failing - before it happens. Some of those signs include:

  • Head and dome lights dim or are completely dark
  • Cranking the engine takes longer than usual
  • Electronic accessories stop working, or work intermittently
  • Car horn sounds weaker and different than before
  • Corrosion is present on the battery case or near the positive post
  • Battery case is bulging, cracking or showing other signs of wear

If you notice these symptoms of a failing battery, yours may be at the end of it's life and require a battery replacement. Before you replace your battery, you can try to jump-start it.

What if I Can't Restart My Dead Battery?

Whether it be a frosty morning at home or at the office, you should never have to worry about your car starting and performing at its best. LubeVan will perform a battery replacement on your car at a date, time, and location of your choosing for $69 & cost of battery + HST. Never start your car in the morning on a wish and prayer again!