During winter, reliable auto repair shops and roadside assistance companies in Madison, TN address dead batteries every day. This situation arises due to the stress and demands cold weather places on batteries. Temperature is a factor, as well as unique winter road conditions like road salt, debris, ice storms and more. To help you know what to expect, here are five effects of cold weather on batteries:
- Reduced power: According to the AAA Automotive Research Center, car batteries lose 60 percent of their charge at 0°F, and 35 percent of the charge at 32°F. Vehicles require up to twice the normal current to start in winter, which makes these conditions challenging. If you have an older battery, this will eventually wear it down, and you may need a new one. One idea is to test your battery and charging system before the deep cold of winter, so you reduce your chances of facing a dead car.
- Slow starting: The early signs of battery failure include grinding or clicking as you turn the ignition, and slow cranking. Headlights also dim as your car struggles to start. When you notice these signs, visit your mechanic for a battery test soon. While you may need a new battery, there is also a good chance that road dirt and salt compromised your connections. You can solve many of those issues by cleaning your battery connections with a baking soda paste, but sometimes they may be far too corroded and need replacement.
- Wear and tear: Hot weather causes more damage to batteries than cold, but that does not mean winter doesn’t generate its own strains. Winter increases the demand for batteries as cars have to start under challenging conditions. People are more likely to use features that depend on a car’s electric components—heaters, heated seats and steering wheels put pressure on batteries. People are more likely to sit in their vehicles on mobile devices, so they stay warm while waiting to pick up children or takeout orders. You can reduce strain by never keeping devices plugged into your car overnight and turning off electronics until after the vehicle starts.
- Broken connections: Freezing temperatures threaten battery connections. Ice buildup interferes and wears them out quicker. In extreme temperatures, wires and pipes may break entirely. If you finished driving in rough conditions, check your battery connections to see if you need to break off any ice or wipe up debris. This small step can go a long way toward preserving your battery’s charge and its ability to start your car.
- Unreliability: A battery that cannot stand up to cold weather is unreliable. You never know if that grocery store trip or errand will leave you stranded in the parking lot, calling for roadside assistance. There are enough challenges these days without a dead car on top of it, so talk to your mechanic about your battery so you can keep moving!
Winter is challenging, but it’s also survivable. Madison Auto Muffler & Repair proudly counts itself among the reliable auto repair shops in Madison, TN, and we can help if winter proves burdensome to your battery. Call us and schedule an appointment, and we will test your battery and help your car remain running this winter!