Friday, February 12, 2016

Effects of Winter Weather on Vehicle Batteries

by Sarah Newkirk of Acme Truck & Auto, Inc.

When the temperatures outside drop, you may notice a change in the performance of your vehicle’s battery. This is because battery capacity fluctuates with the changing temperatures. As the temperature drops, your battery’s capacity, or the number of amps it can hold, also decreases. Likewise, as the temperature outside increases, the capacity also increases.

Your vehicle’s performance can become poor with a battery that isn’t running on its full potential. Here are a few tips to avoid or help with a dead car battery:
  • Having a newer battery is best for winter driving. Using an older battery can drain the charge quicker, as it takes more effort to warm up. The average lifespan of a vehicle battery is 3.5 years.
  • When possible, park your vehicle in a garage or car port. If this is not an option, try to find a parking spot that best avoids the wind. Wind chills can make the battery even colder, potentially causing more strain, especially at start up.
  • Turn off all accessories before turning off your ignition, especially overnight. These can drain your battery, even when not in use.
  • If you find yourself with a dead battery, be sure to use good jumper cables. Once your vehicle is charged, it is best to let it run long enough for it to warm up. If you charge the battery but do not allow it time to warm up, you have a higher chance of it dying again. Typically, 30 minutes of driving will bring your battery to a full charge.
  • As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts, remember to check your tires as the weather fluctuates as poor tire pressure can also drain your vehicle’s battery.

The best way to remain safe while driving, especially in colder weather, is to be aware of your vehicle’s maintenance and to be proactive in checking for any signs of wear and tear.

Acme Truck and Auto
414 South 5th Street
Manhattan, KS 66502
Office: (785) 537-1212
Toll Free (844) 537-1212

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