Amy's Amazing Auto Service and Repair Blog

Steps to Ensure Your Car Battery Functions Optimally All Winter

by Derek Davidson

Freezing temperatures usually present a unique set of challenges everyone has to overcome. For instance, people usually feel sluggish or sleepy during this time of the year. Your car battery also experiences a similar problem whenever it's cold. The battery may struggle to produce adequate energy to meet the vehicle's varying needs once the temperature drops. So, if you don't take the necessary measures before the cold season sets in, the car battery can die when you need it the most, forcing you to spend a lot of money and time to fix the situation. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid such situations. The following tips will prove helpful.

Verify your battery's age

The first thing you need to do before winter sets in is to confirm your car battery age. Usually, the date is engraved on the side or top of the battery. Search for a letter and digit—letters indicate the month while the number signifies the manufacturing year. So, if the label shows D18, for example, it means that the battery was dispatched in April 2018. If it's over five years old, then you should know that it's nearing its end of life, so the chances of surviving the winter are minimal. The best way to avoid problems during the cold months is to replace it right away. If you aren't sure about the age, you can ask a car mechanic to help. Most professional mechanics can state the age at a glance and will give a recommendation.

Keep the car battery clean

Another tip you should always remember is to keep the battery clean. This not only prevents your battery from dying, but it also increases its lifespan in general. However, most car owners today only focus on cleaning the exterior and interior parts of the car and forget components that power or run the vehicle like a battery. So before winter, be sure to check the condition of the battery terminals. If they are corroded, you'll need to dip a brush in a mixture of water and baking soda and brush the corrosion off.

Don't allow the battery to be depleted

Depleted car batteries usually freeze up easily compared to a battery that's charged. So before winter starts, you will need to be keen while starting the vehicle. If you realise that the vehicle strains each time the ignition key is turned, then you'll have to charge the battery. Once the battery is charged, it will be in a better position to withstand the harsh weather conditions experienced in winter and constant use.

For further assistance, contact a local car servicing shop.