Cold Weather and Your Car Battery

Northern Indiana is sure to have a pretty chilly winter, and that can bring a lot of negative impacts to your car, and especially to your car’s battery. We usually remember to check our tire tread, our heating system, and even to pack a winter emergency kit. We may, however, forget to consider what the cold is doing to the critical components and systems inside our vehicle. Here are some of the ways that the winter is impacting your car’s battery.

1. The cold reduces its capacity
Cold weather will reduce the capacity of even the newest car batteries. This means that it may be unable to produce enough amperage to get the engine started. This makes it pretty tricky to start the car to get it warmed up before you head off on your school run or commute.

2. Damage from frozen fluids
If the temperature becomes severely low, it could even freeze the fluids inside the battery. Once frozen, they expand and damage the battery casing. If you try to start up your car when the battery is frozen, it can even explode, so when the thermometer levels are falling, it’s time to be aware.

3. Winter demands more power
In the winter months, it gets darker earlier, you need more heating, and you’re using your wiper blades more often. All of these things need a fully functioning battery. It’s unfortunate that the one time of year that impacts the battery most directly is also the time when you rely on it the most.

In summary:
Knowledge is power when it comes to car batteries. If you want to understand better how well your car’s battery will cope in the winter months, a good place to ask is at the dealership. The well-trained mechanics there will be able to tell you a very important number --- cold cranking amps (CCA) --- which tells you how much amperage the battery can put out when cold.

If the CCA is considered high (check with the mechanic), then it means you’re ready for even the harshest, most frigid winter that the area can throw at you. It’s a good tip also if you’re planning on buying or leasing a new car and want to know if it will be hardy enough for the Indiana winter. All this information and more is available from the dealership experts.

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