When it’s time to get to work or go home after a long day, an engine that won’t turn over is the last thing you want—and there are things you can do to prevent your car battery from letting you down when you need it most. Read on for information from AAMCO on how you can help your car battery in cold weather and keep your car starting even when the temperatures dive.
(On an encouraging note: though more cars won’t start on cold winter mornings, summer is the more dangerous season for your car’s battery. More batteries fail when rising temperatures sap your electrolyte and boil your battery dry.)
When temperatures dip below freezing and stay there for longer and longer periods, it takes a toll on your battery. When the oil inside your car engine has frozen into a soupy sludge, your battery has to work harder to turn the engine over. This requires a higher current from the battery—and since cold temperatures slow down the chemical reactions required to produce electricity, in cold weather batteries can’t produce their normal amount of energy. This is a frustrating reality that often means an overloaded battery will leave you out in the cold just when you need it most.
It’s important to act quickly when you suspect your battery is under the weather. Have a skilled battery technician inspect the battery connections, the hardware, the condition of the case, the battery load, and the electrolyte level (if applicable). The technician should also check the alternator belts, brackets, and connections, and then test the voltage and current.
The starter also needs to be examined for proper connections and mounting, and should then be tested to see how much electrical power is required to turn over the engine when the engine is cranked. These tests help the technician determine where the problem is and what the best and least expensive solution will be.
Your battery could be suffering from other failed connections as well. The starter motor demands a large amount of electrical current—between 200 and 400 amps—and if your battery clamps aren’t connected to the posts properly, the clamps can heat up. This poor connection will eventually prevent the battery from becoming fully charged, which means the battery could freeze internally in cold weather.
If you’ve noticed that your battery is running down, your vehicle is starting more slowly, or that the weather is affecting how your battery is performing in any way, stop in at one of our AAMCO locations and one of our Colorado auto battery experts will check it out. We will perform all the above inspections and provide you with the best possible plan of action. For more information on Colorado battery technicians, or to find a Colorado auto repair location or AAMCO transmission expert near you, visit www.aamcocolorado.com.