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Top 3 Things That Can Drain Car Batteries in Winter

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guy wearing a brown coat checking a car battery in winterFreeze! You aren’t going anyplace. Not with a lifeless car battery, no less than. Christmas dinner at Grandma’s home should wait.

Hold your vacation travels on monitor by watching out for issues that may weaken and drain your car battery, particularly in chilly climate.

How Your Car Battery Works

Earlier than we leap into what drains a car battery, let’s take a fast detour to know the fundamentals of how a battery works.

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The battery in your car incorporates power cells and a particular lead-acid chemical answer that work collectively to offer a jolt of power to get issues shifting and grooving if you flip your key in the ignition.

As NASA places it, a battery “interprets chemical power into electrical power.”

With out the battery, your car’s engine gained’t begin and the electronics gained’t work.

Top 3 Things That Drain Your Car Battery in Winter

Drain #1: Human Error

Sadly, the primary drain in your car battery is most frequently, nicely, you! In winter, it may be tempting to hurry inside and comfy up in entrance of the fireside. However earlier than you do, examine that you simply’ve completely powered down your vehicle and all of its equipment to keep away from a lifeless battery.

  • Be sure that your interior lights and headlights are off. Some automobiles’ headlights flip off routinely after a sure period of time however double verify yours anyway. Additionally, verify to ensure your car doorways are utterly shut. If a door is left ajar, your interior lights can keep on and drain the car battery.
  • Unplug all equipment. We advocate unplugging every part that pulls energy, together with your cellular phone charger, for a couple of causes. In some automobiles, the USB ports and cigarette lighter socket obtain energy even when the car is turned off. Additionally, whenever you flip the important thing, your car battery offers a zap of electrical energy to start out the engine. When different electronics are plugged in if you begin the car, they will steal a few of that power. Don’t shortchange your car battery in chilly climate! Give all of it the facility it must get you going.
  • Flip electronics off when the engine’s off. Your battery is designed to energy some electronics whereas the engine is off, however just for a restricted time. Keep away from operating your radio, GPS, or different electronics for greater than 20 minutes when the engine is off to assist the battery keep its cost.

Drain #2: Corrosion or Unfastened Cable Connections

There are two factors of contact on prime of your battery—one constructive, one damaging. These are referred to as terminals, they usually stick out like posts on prime of the battery. Your car has cables that join to those posts.Gloved hand removing car battery terminal to clean the battery

Corrosion across the terminals or unfastened cable connections can intrude with the battery cost and make it more durable for the battery to start out your engine. A fast terminal cleansing and cable verify will help reestablish contact.

  • Clear your battery terminals. Examine your battery. When you discover a white, powdery substance across the terminals that appears like lifeless pores and skin on dry palms, you’ve received a case of corrosion. Use a dry rag to wipe off filth, grime, and corrosion from across the battery terminals. You’ll be able to even scrub them with some baking soda, water, and a toothbrush. Reader’s Digest additionally recommends including petroleum jelly to stop future corrosion.
  • Tighten unfastened battery cable connections. The cables that join your battery to your car can naturally loosen over time. Seek the advice of your proprietor’s guide and in the event you’re snug doing so, use a wrench to tighten the connections. If not, cease by your nearest Firestone Full Auto Look after assist.

Drain #3: Freezing Temperatures

Chilly climate slows every part down, particularly the chemical response occurring inside your car battery. In truth, at 32°F, a car’s battery loses about 35% of its power. And at zero°F, it loses as much as 60% of its power—however your engine requires almost twice as a lot energy to start out!

Have you ever ever tried sucking molasses by means of a straw? That’s type of how your car battery feels in winter climate. Fortunately, you’ll be able to assist hold your car battery charged in the chilly by taking the next precautions:

  • Set up a battery blanket. You should purchase one for round $20 on-line or at an area auto elements retailer. Merely plug the blanket in, wrap it round your battery, and luxuriate in a clean begin tomorrow morning. Simply be sure to comply with the directions that include the battery blanket!
  • Park your car in the storage or away from the wind. Depart your car in a storage in a single day to assist shield the battery. In the event you don’t have a storage, park the entrance of the car downwind.
  • Give it a cost. A totally charged battery gained’t freeze till -seventy six°F, whereas a totally discharged battery might begin freezing round 32°F. Is your battery absolutely charged for winter? Let one among our techs verify!

If in case you have car battery drain on the mind, it’s time for a free battery verify. Belief us. It’s value it. Our technicians know batteries and set up greater than 800,000 car batteries a yr utilizing America’s #1 alternative battery. Go to your native Firestone Full Auto Look after a free battery examine at this time.


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