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Vehicle battery performance in the winter

The winter can be a common time for a vehicle's battery to die. You should have your battery checked out and maintenance done in the fall before taking a chance of getting stranded in a snowstorm.

It's a known fact that lead acid car batteries has trouble dealing with both hot and cold weather. Some of the issues car batteries deal with in the cold include:

Extreme Temperatures

A battery loses 20 per cent of its capacity in freezing weather and 50 per cent when temperature reach -30 degrees celsius.

Reduced Capacity, Increated Draw from Starter Motors, Increased Draw from Accessories

Leaving on your interior lights isn't really the issue.

When starting your vehicle the starter motor needs a certain amount of amperage to get going. Normally your battery has no problem because lead battery technology is good at delivering the necessary amperage over a short period of time.

If a battery is starting to get further along in its life it can have issues during the winter. Remember that temperatures below freezing can reduce a battery's capacity to the point that it can't handle the demands placed on it by the starter motor.

A battery's vital statistics show that cold cranking amps refer to the amount of amperage the battery puts out in the cold. A larger number handles higher demands on it than the battery with a lower number. This results in better battery performance in cold weather once a battery starts to become diminished.

In cases of colder weather a starter's motor amperage demands become higher and compound problems further as motor oil gets thick. When this happens it's more difficult to turn over and the starter motor needs additional amperage.

Driving in the winter also places more strain on a battery as accessories like headlights and windshield wipers tend to be used more often during the shorter days and more inclement weather. Your charging system can struggle to keep up unless you have a high-performance alternator. Since a battery may already be suffering because of the reduced capacity in cold temperatures it can cause the demise of a battery more quickly.

Keeping the battery alive

Any situation where your vehicle's battery isn't operating in perfect temperatures presents the chance of failure. In the winter remember to charge your battery. A weak battery could begin freezing at 0 degreess celsius, but a fully-charged battery won't start to have problems until -60 degrees celsius. Also have your battery load tested, the electrolyte checked and connections looked at for signs of corrosion before winter.


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