While it is easy to tell how much charge is left on your phone, it can be tricky to do the same for your car battery. Having an almost dead battery could mean that your car might not start one morning or you could end up stranded on the road. Cold weather can put a strain on an old battery, but there are ways to keep it going longer. Here are some tips and tricks to keep your vehicle’s battery charged all winter.
Park Away From Wind
If you have a garage, clear out any junk in it and make room for your car. Frigid temperatures combined with high-speed winds can take a toll on your battery. Keeping your car out of the wind will at least protect it from one winter element. If you do not have a garage, try to park the front of your car away from the direction of the wind. When you go shopping, leave your car in a covered parking lot whenever possible.
Get in the habit of turning off your car’s extras during the winter before you turn your car off. Starting it with the heat and radio going adds unnecessary stress on the battery. When you do start your car, let the alternator charge the battery for a short while before putting demands on it. Each time the ignition is engaged, the battery transfers energy to the motor to get your vehicle going, but it also carries power to all of your vehicle’s other systems you left on. These extra demands can drain your battery quickly.
A fully charged battery will not freeze until it is less than -60’C outside, but a partially charged battery could freeze at 0’C. If your car’s starter is faltering, give it some juice first.
Keep It Clean
Your battery works harder when the temperature dips because electrical resistance increases and engine oil thickens. Grime, dirt, and corrosion can add to this resistance. A white powder around your battery terminals is a sign of corrosion. All you need to keep your battery clean is a damp washcloth, baking soda, water, and a toothbrush for scrubbing. You can add petroleum jelly to the terminals once it is clean to prevent corrosion.
Wrap It Up
Just like how you would put on layers when it is cold outside to keep warm, you can do the same for your vehicle’s battery. There are electric batter blankets available on the market that can prevent your battery from getting too cold.