As the cold weather continues to grip many areas of the country, we all wish we could speed up the winter. While that is not possible, we can slow down the affects that a brutal winter can have on your car’s battery. If you live in a cold climate, winter is not your car battery’s friend. It is more like your car battery’s mortal enemy.
Extremely cold temperatures can slow the chemical reactions that occur inside a lead acid battery, making it harder for it to function. It also doesn’t help that when your engine is extremely cold, the thing that helps it heat up faster and run better is your car battery. When the temperature drops, your odds increase of coming out to the car and starting the ignition, only to hear that dreaded sound of silence.
If you want to keep your battery running properly and protect it from the bitter temperatures, you may want to try the following.
First, look for the signs of a bad battery. Look for the subtle signs of a dying battery. For instance, do you detect the following?
- Your dome lights have dimmed
- Your car’s horn sounds a slightly different with less energy
- Your headlights are dimming yellow instead of white
- There’s a weird smell in your car, kind of like sulfur or rotten eggs
- A dashboard battery warning light that’s on
Those are some signs that you may need to replace your battery. If your car battery is several years old, that’s yet another sign. In which case, you may want to come out to Milex Complete Auto Care to see if it time for a change.
Make sure you have a battery charger. If you are unable to take your car in for service because it has a dead battery, consider a battery charger to help resurrect your car on the spot. These devices can be a big help in tough situations when your battery unexpectedly gives out. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to keep yours in the trunk of your car – just in case you experience problems with your battery when you are away from home.
You can also bring your car in and have your battery tested. Come to Milex, and the mechanics will be glad to test your battery. Just make sure that you drive for awhile and have the car running for a time, before it gets tested. If you live only a few minutes away from the store, your engine won’t be fully revved up, and your battery won’t be fully charged, and it may end up testing weaker than it really is.
Keep your battery clean. If you happen to open your hood and notice your battery look aged, you can always put some dielectric grease on it, to keep it from further corrosion. Your Milex mechanics can also remove any dust or corrosion that they see on your battery when you bring your car in for service.
Get a battery blanket installed. It’s literally what it sounds like – an electric blanket for your battery. You plug the battery blanket into a wall outlet, and the blanket produces enough heat to keep the battery fluid from freezing. This isn’t necessary if you just have the occasional cold snap, but if you don’t drive much during the winter, and it gets very cold, this may help you save your battery from freezing.
Making it through the winter can be tough enough. Don’t make it even worse by neglecting your car’s battery.