Cold weather can negatively affect cars in a variety of ways, and that includes the battery. Knowing how your car's battery can be impacted this winter and whether or not you should get a battery change at your next auto repair appointment can help you avoid a situation where you're stranded in the cold and in need of emergency roadside service.
Cold Weather Makes Batteries Work Harder
Under ideal conditions, it takes a lot of energy to power a car starter. In cold weather, it takes even more. When temperatures drop, car batteries are forced to work extra hard to start your car, and older batteries may not have enough power to turn your car on.
Old Batteries Should Be Replaced Before Winter
Car batteries can be expected to last about 3 to 5 years. If your car battery falls anywhere in this age range, it could die at any time, and this is especially true in winter. Consider having your battery replaced to avoid problems starting your car on a cold day.
First You Should Find Out the Age of Your Car Battery
You can tell the age of your car's battery by looking for the date stamp on the side. Date stamps come in code. First you'll see a letter that corresponds to a month (A for January, B for February, and so on), then you'll see a digit that corresponds to a date. 1 will stand for 2011, 2 will stand for 2012, and so on.
If your car battery was recharged by a wholesale distributor, you may see a second date imprinted in the cover or elsewhere on the battery. This date will be more recent than the first date, but should use the same encryption.
Check Your Battery for Corrosion
Even if your battery is new enough that it doesn't need to be replaced, you should still check the terminals for corrosion. Big deposits of corrosion can inhibit your car's ability to start. You can either clean your battery terminals yourself by disconnecting the battery and using a car battery terminal cleaner to scrub away the corrosion, or you can bring your car in to the mechanic. Your mechanic can clean your car battery terminals and check for other potential mechanical problems.
Seeking the proper auto repair before winter arrives is important for ensuring that your car will continue to start and run while the temperature outside is low. This will help save you money on a potential tow truck and can also make your holiday season a little bit safer. For more information, contact Allan's Alignment & Frame Service (1989) Ltd alignment or a similar company.