Charging Your Vehicle’s Battery in the Winter

One of the worst things to happen during the winter is going out to your car in the morning to head to work and learning that the battery is dead. This often happens at the worst possible moment such as when you are in a hurry to get to work or drive the kids to school and you don’t have much time to spare. Dealing with dead batteries is something that we all face from time to time; however, if you understand how to charge your battery in the winter, you will be able to quickly and efficiently take care of the problem.

The Top Reasons for a Dead Battery

There are an estimated 500,000 breakdowns each year due to dead batteries. The most common reason for batteries going dead is because the lights are accidently left on. Other reasons for a dead battery include:

  • Leaving on any type of electrical devices, such as charging a cell phone.
  • Not using your car for several days. Even the slightest thing can drain your battery if it hasn’t been used for an extended amount of time.
  • A defective charging system (alternator) that can cause the battery to be over- or under-charged.
  • Extremely hot or cold weather that can cause damage to your battery and reduce the amount of energy that it generates.
  • Old age. Most car batteries are only designed to last for five years.
  • Too many short-distance journeys that do not provide your car with enough time to recharge the battery.
  • Corrosion around the terminals that can cause a car battery to not function as it should.
  • Avoiding routine maintenance on the car. You should check the condition of the battery every time your car is tuned up.
  • Loose cables or brackets that can interrupt the electrical current or cause damage to the battery.

How to Avoid Breaking Down Due to a Dead Battery

There are several things that you can do to help avoid a flat battery and breaking down on the side of the road. If you maintain your car’s battery regularly, you can make sure that you don’t end up with car trouble while away from home.

You should invest in a good-quality battery. Although you may pay more up front, you could end up saving yourself a lot of money over time.

When your car sits out in the hot sun for an extended amount of time, the heat can influence your battery, especially if your battery is old. Try to keep your car in the shade or inside a garage if possible to protect the battery.

Make sure that you always buy the right type of battery for your vehicle type. Depending on the level of equipment fitted, the battery specifications can vary from one model to another. Be sure to check out your owner’s manual to find out what battery you should purchase.

Cold weather can do a number on your battery. It can make the engine have a hard time operating as it should and reduce the amount of energy that your battery produces. Be sure to keep your car in the garage whenever possible when the temperature outside starts to drop.