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Maintaining Your Car Battery in the Winter

ca battery in the winter

Car batteries are especially vulnerable to losing power in winter, usually at the worst possible time in the worst possible weather. But with some preparation and maintenance, you don’t have to worry about being stuck in a frigid car on the side of an icy road.

If your battery still fails after all your precautions, AAA Car Battery Service is available seven days a week to come to you to test and/or replace your battery.

Why Do Car Batteries Die in Winter?

Cold weather can wreak havoc on a battery.

Lower temperatures restrict your car battery’s output while forcing it to draw more power to work, according to AAA Car Doctor John Paul. “A car engine needs about 30% more energy to start when the temperatures drop to freezing,” Paul said. “And at zero degrees your vehicle battery can only deliver at 50% of its rated capacity.”

While fully charged batteries normally do not freeze – temperatures would have to drop below minus 76 degrees for that to happen – a fully discharged battery, which has just below 12 volts, can freeze at 32 degrees.

The average car battery life in the Northeast is three to five years. As they age, batteries should be checked annually.

Get more tips on how to winterize your car.

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Getting the Most of Your Car Battery in Winter

For the best winter performance, purchase a premium quality battery with the highest cold cranking amps rating to meet or exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s specifications, such as a AAA-branded premium quality battery.

To get the most out of any car battery, make sure to test it regularly. After a stretch of harsh weather is the perfect time.

“Batteries really are the strong silent type,” said a representative of Interstate Batteries, the vendor that supplies AAA-branded car batteries. “Even corrosion isn’t a sign of a bad battery. It takes a battery tester to uncover any issues.”

Make sure you have a reliable battery this winter.

In a hurry? Get a premium new battery from AAA Car Battery Service.

Note: Due to high demand because of cold weather, the wait times for mobile battery service may be longer than usual.

Has your car battery ever died in the middle of winter? What do you do to maintain your car battery? Tell us in the comments.

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