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How does the cold weather affect car batteries?

How does the cold weather affect car batteries?

Cars batteries contain energy cells and a chemical solution of lead-acid. Together, these two elements give your car a boost of energy, getting it moving immediately after turning on the ignition. The battery converts chemical energy into electrical energy. Without it, the engine and electronics of your car will not run.


Influence of Cold Weather on Car Batteries


The reason batteries seem to be affected by cold is because of the chemical reactions inside. As the temperature drops, this reaction becomes slower. As a result, your battery must produce more power to start the engine. The capacity decreases by about 20% when temperatures fall below 32°F and even more below 0°F. 


Three cold-weather battery problems include:


Cold Weather Decreases Capacity

Cold Weather Decreases Capacity


When you start the engine and activate the starter motor, the battery must produce a certain amount of power. In cold temperatures, the chemical reaction in batteries slows down so much that the starter motor requires an increased capacity to start the engine successfully.

If the battery is too old, to begin with, it will most likely not be able to start the car in the cold. That is why used cars Wetaskiwin , which come with high cold-cranking amps, are ideal.


Lower the Recharging Rate


The battery starts the engine and powers all the essential accessories in the car. As soon as the engine starts, the alternator assumes control. In addition to powering the vehicle's electronics while the car drives, the alternator replenishes the car's battery so that it will start the next time.

It can take longer to recharge during cold weather, requiring more time for the alternator to charge it.


Thick Engine Oil

Thick Engine Oil


Engine oil can become thicker in colder temperatures. However, engines need oil to flow so that they can operate smoothly. During extremely cold weather, the oil flowing through your engine becomes thicker and heavier, which can strain the battery and make starting the engine harder.


The Best Way to Prevent a Car's Battery from Dying in Cold Weather


If you deep discharge the battery beyond a certain level, the car may not start, and repeated deep discharges may permanently damage it. The following tips can help ensure that your car battery does not suffer a cold-related deep discharge:


  • Regularly drive or drive longer distances
  • Make sure all accessories are unplugged and turned off
  • Don't leave your car outside. A garage is a good place for your vehicle.
  • Don't forget to clean the battery’s terminals
  • Test it regularly
  • Make sure you have a good battery


It is smart to use a battery charger to protect your battery during cold weather. It is especially beneficial if you want to put your car in storage or don't intend to use it for a long time.


If your battery is older than average and you'll be driving in colder weather, you may want to purchase a new one for the best chance of making it through the winter, problem free. 


Cars that come with batteries of high crank temperature, like used cars Wetaskiwin can provide your vehicle with more power, even during extreme cold.

Categories: tips