Car Batteries In The Cold
Car batteries, like many other parts and components, require regular maintenance. Ensuring that your car battery is in optimal working condition makes all the difference as it essentially powers your entire car. Even if you regularly service your vehicle, a dead battery means that you are not going anywhere. Cold and damp weather conditions can affect batteries, fuel systems, starter motors, alternators, oil and carburettors.
Looking after your car battery in winter is vital as cold weather has an adverse effect on batteries where it inhibits the chemical reaction necessary to make it work. This is often the reason why you have trouble starting your car on a cold winter’s morning. It’s not only the cold weather that affects a car battery but a lack of car usage, especially over the festive period, also leads to high numbers of roadside assistance calls. While nobody can control the weather, we can certainly prepare our cars and minimise the risk.
Failing to conduct regular maintenance checks could result in a dead battery and often at the most inconvenient times. Being prepared should be at the top of your car maintenance list in more ways than one. Besides checking your car battery, make sure you have quality jumper cables and the knowledge on how to use them properly.
Car batteries go flat for several reasons and to help you prevent a worst case scenario, we’ve compiled a few handy car battery care tips.
Warning Signs Of A Failing Battery
When you turn the ignition and hear a faint whining noise and the starter motor doesn’t turn over, the chances are that you have a flat battery. If you hear nothing at all, it is very likely that the battery charge is completely depleted or that the battery cables are loose.
Furthermore, clicking noises when turning the ignition, dimming dashboard lights, the car not unlocking via remote central locking or if the engine turns over very slowly are all signs of a battery in need of charging or replacing.
Car Battery Storage
Storing your car in a garage will help protect the battery from cold winter temperatures. In addition to jumper leads, you should also consider buying a car battery booster. This rechargeable device is simple to use as you clip it onto your flat battery for an instant boost. It is ideal for those situations when your jump leads are nowhere to be found or when you are pressed for time and can’t wait for a conventional car battery charger to do its job.
Drive More And Longer Distances
One of the main dead battery culprits many motorists don’t know about is only driving short distances. Batteries endure high levels of strain when only doing regular short journeys. The reason behind this is that the engine and alternator are not given enough time to fully recharge the battery. An easy solution is to take a few longer journeys to give the battery a chance to recharge itself. If you only ever drive short distances, you should really invest in an external battery charger.
Reduce The Strain
Cars of today feature lots of energy draining technology, which quickly drains the battery power when left on. Lights and heaters are the main culprits but items plugged into a USB or 12V supply will also very quickly drain the car battery. Make sure that your interior lights are switched off as keeping them on overnight often results in a dead battery the next morning.
Check Your Battery And Related Systems
Motorists generally use more power when driving in winter from car heaters and headlights to water and windscreen wipers, all adding more strain on the car battery. Before winter sets in, we always recommend getting your battery and electrical systems checked.
You can perform a visual check for corrosion whenever you lift the bonnet and if you purchased a used car, make sure to check the manual and see if the previous owner fitted the correct battery. If you have any concerns, get a professional to check the alternator, starting and charging systems for the car and battery. If any systems are faulty, it could result in the battery being overcharged, undercharged or sometimes it doesn’t charge at all.
A new battery is often the best solution to any problems but there are other related causes to look out for. The alternator is an integral part that charges your car battery when the engine is running. If you have a relatively new battery but it keeps going flat, the problem is usually a faulty alternator. Another sign that your alternator might need replacing is if you jump start your car and the engine dies immediately.
If you suspect a faulty battery, you should replace it immediately to avoid getting stuck somewhere in the cold weather. Elite Garages make it easy for you and your family with our free battery checks at any of our branches.
Quick Fire Tips For Car Battery Maintenance
While maintaining your car battery is important in itself, there are many other factors to consider. We’ve listed some of them below:
- Faulty starter motor
- Car fuel systems contaminated with water or blocked injectors
- Using the wrong oil in cold weather can add unnecessary strain on your car battery</li<
- Carburettors in older cars are prone to freeze over
At Elite Garages, we aim to inform and educate all of our customers on effective car maintenance, car battery checks, new rules and regulations so that you and your family remain safe on the road. If you have a multi-vehicle household, our friendly family-run business offers incredible value for all your motoring needs.
If you need a new car battery or need your battery checked, call Elite Garages where our expert and friendly staff are ready to help. We provide expertise and services for all makes and models and offer better value than dealerships. Book a free battery check at any of our branches for added peace of mind, especially during the colder months.