One of the topmost issues among car breakdowns is battery issues. Battery issues are even more on rise in winter when weather is cold. Knowing the bad effects of low temperature on your car battery and understanding how to store, care for and maintain it will help you avoid battery problems in winter. Experts at Roadside Response Adelaide share their valuable tips here on winter car battery care.
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How does Cold Weather Affect Car Batteries?
Cold weather can affect car batteries in the following ways:
- Extreme cold conditions slow the chemical reaction in a car battery. Due to this less power is provided by the battery due to which starting the engine becomes more difficult.
- Cold weather can lessen the capacity of the battery by up to one third.
- Moreover, it also lessens the ability of battery to accept charge, thus the battery won’t recharge quickly while you are driving.
- During winter, we tend to use most of our car’s electric and electronic items which puts more load on the battery. Due to shortened daylight periods, we use headlights more often and also heaters to keep us warm. With all this usage, more strain is put on the battery which has its capacity already reduced.
- An unstable battery can negatively affect the start-stop technology of a vehicle. As the start-stop function ceases operating, the fuel consumption of the vehicle is badly affected and your fuel costs increase.
Storage in Winter
The very first measure you should take to protect your battery in cold weather is to keep it warm. Park your car in your garage whenever possible, preferably in a heated garage. Thus, as the battery will not experience the extreme cold, it will behave normal.
If you want to keep your car parked for longer periods, make use of a battery maintainer. This device will keep charging your battery regularly, something which happens when you are driving.
- It’s a good idea to get the battery and electrical system of your car checked before the winter sets in. Check also battery cables, posts as well as security to look for if there is any loosened connection or corrosion. Ensure that the cables are secure. If the battery has revealed any problematic signs before or is more than 5 years old, replacing it will save you against battery problems in the middle of winter.
- Maintain the charge levels with a battery charger/optimiser. This device keeps the battery in a fine condition. There are a fewer chances of freezing for a fully charged battery than a discharged battery. Refer to your car’s manual to ensure that you connect the charger in a proper way.
- Upon completion of a journey, make sure to switch off any electronic or electric gadget in the car before switching the engine off. If you don’t do this, the car battery will power those gadgets taking an additional drain making starting of the vehicle more difficult for you. Therefore, it’s better to disconnect iPods, DVD players, phone chargers and sat navs before switching the car off, as they drain the battery the most if left unplugged.
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Tips for Starting Your Car
When your battery faces problem due to cold, you have to struggle while starting your car. Here are tips for a smooth start in cold weather:
- Switch all electrical gadgets off while starting your car
- Dip the clutch as that will decrease the load on the battery
- Wait between two attempts of starting the car. This will give time to the battery to recover and it may get a little warmth.
- Check the owner’s manual for instructions on cold starting.
- If none of these works, you will have to jumpstart your car battery which should be done with care, checking your owner’s manual and following the instructions carefully.
If at all the battery doesn’t start, you may have to replace it. Check the best offer car battery prices Brisbane for an affordable battery replacement.