One of the most common reasons for a car to break down is a dead battery. Suffering a car breakdown is always upsetting, and it’s not how you want to start the year!
Why do car batteries fail?
Car batteries can die at any time, under any weather condition or season. Nonetheless, winter does beat a battery aggressively. Especially, if not taken care in a proper way.
A car battery can react pretty similar to us under freezing conditions. Staying out at low temperatures will eventually drop energy levels until food and shelter help recover heat and energy.
The same thing can happen to car batteries. Low temperatures will quickly cut down its energy supply. When temperatures become colder, turning over an engine can take up to twice as much current as needed under more favorable conditions. Experts explain that your vehicle’s battery loses 33 percent of its power when the temperature dips below freezing and over 50 percent of its power when the temperature falls below zero.
Here are several tips to keep your battery fully charged and operating efficiently through the winter.
Prevention is your best weapon against unexpected car breakdowns. It is the only way to be one step ahead. Therefore, it is a good idea to have your car’s starting and charging system checked before the winter arrives. Too late for that now, but keep it in mind for next year…
It is important to inspect your battery cables, posts, and fasteners. Make sure your cables are in good shape and are secured firmly to the battery. Check that clamps and connections to the battery are secured and free of corrosion. To clean the battery connections, a little bit of baking soda and water will do the trick.
If you let your battery get too old it could fail you at the worst moment. Pay attention to any sign of struggling when starting the engine. Especially, after five years of using the same car battery.
If you won’t be using your car much, try to keep it inside the garage and at least, start the engine at least once a day. When you plan to travel, ask someone to come to your place from time to time and start your car.
Keeping Your Car Battery Charged
Purchasing a battery charger is a great option. Newest models of “intelligent” chargers can be left connected to the battery indefinitely and can prolong the battery life without overcharging it. A typical battery charger or tender will charge a 12-volt battery to 14.4 volts and let it go no lower than 12.6; keeping it at the right level.
To use the tender simply remove the battery and bring it into the garage where it’s a little bit warmer. Don’t bring it into your home; charging creates hydrogen gas, which is a fire hazard. For storage keep it over a wooden block or plastic cases so it remains off the floor, in case, the floor gets wet from snow or rain.
Even when a battery charger is not cheap, it is less expensive than a new battery, plus you can avoid breaking down in a frozen roadside in the middle of nowhere…
Now you can worry only about how cool your car looks.