A dead car battery is the number one reason for roadside assistance during winter. Your car battery and cold weather is not a good mix. A battery that is in good condition can tolerate substantial cold for a short period of time. However, a battery that is compromised can freeze solid at temps of -10 degrees. Here are a few quick tips on keeping your car on the road during winter cold snaps.
Get your battery checked if you know a cold snap is on its way. You will be able to ascertain battery life and see if your battery needs to be replaced.
Drive Your Car
Driving your car for about 10 to 20 minutes both warms and charges the battery. Short, daily drives just won’t do the trick. Longer drives are needed to sufficiently charge the battery and warm up it up under the hood.
Use A Blanket
Use a thermal blanket to cover your battery after driving your vehicle. This will result in keeping the battery warm for an extended period of time and prevent frost from encasing the battery.
We all have our cell phone charger in our cars. Some of us use our vehicles to charge laptops, tablets, flashlights and many other devices. Even though these devices may not extract a lot of charge from your car’s battery, it may make a difference when the temps are low and that extra charge is needed. So, when your engine is off, unplug those devices.
Park Where It’s Warm
Of course, parking your car in a heated garage is optimum but many of us do not have the opportunity to do so. Try to park your vehicle in direct sunlight during the day and avoid the shady side of structures. Always consider warmer places to park because even a couple of degrees can make a difference when you go to start your vehicle.
When Not to Jump-start
Our first instinct is to jump-start our battery when we hear that infamous “click” as we attempt to start the car. Check out the condition of your battery before getting out those jumper cables. Look for any bulging, cracks, icicles or frost on the terminals. These conditions usually indicate that the battery is frozen. Attempting to jump-start a frozen battery is dangerous.
Persistent Freezing Weather
If you live in areas with persistent freezing weather (extream northern America, Canada, Alaska and the like) other more extensive measures are necessary for keeping your engine and battery in operational order. You will want to contact your local automotive specialist for further instructions
These are just a few quick tips on keeping you on the road this winter. Your car battery and cold weather is always a bit of a challenge. Call your automotive specialists at Southside Auto Repair for any further questions you may have regarding the condition of your car battery and if it should be replaced. Prepare for that next cold snap; you’ll be glad you did!