Can your car battery weather the winter cold?

Can your car battery weather the winter cold?

It’s that time of the year again when the winter mornings are icy, we’re more sluggish and we find ourselves reaching for the snooze button for what feels like the hundredth time before getting out of bed in the morning. Did you know your car’s battery feels the cold too, and a chilly winter morning is the most likely, albeit the most inconvenient time, you could be left stranded with a flat battery.

As the weather gets colder, your vehicle's battery’s ability to provide enough power to start and run the engine is reduced. Your engine also needs more power to start than under normal weather conditions which can cause battery failure.

“Batteries, just like us, like to keep warm, dry, and well-fueled during winter. Remember to take good care of your battery, test it regularly, especially going into the winter season to make sure that it’sin good condition. The process takes only a few minutes. Identifying a problem and then fitting a new battery could prevent you from finding yourself stranded and left in a potentially dangerous position,” says Shannon Drake of Midas.

With the recent lockdown regulations, many South Africans have left their cars unused forlong periods, or have only been using ourthem for short trips to the shops for essentials, with quick starts and stops that prevent the battery from fully recharging. These are some of the primary reasons contributing to batteries being depleted and causing battery failure.

There are some things you can do to reduce your chances of a flat battery. Midas suggests the following tips tomake sure your battery keeps in good health and is ready to weather winter:

Keep your car sheltered

Ambient temperatures can kill your battery if they drop too low. The weaker your battery, the warmer it has to be to make sure you can start your car.Park your car in a garage if possible, invest in a car cover, park next to warm buildings, or at least try to park your car in a sheltered area facing eastso that as the sun rises it will ever so slightly start warming up your car.

Warm it up

It’simportant to give your battery enough time to warm up in the early morning so make sure to turn on the ignition and let the alternator charge the battery before you turn on the radio, lights, air-con, or start driving the car.

Good maintenanceis key!

Batteries need good and thoroughmaintenance to keep running. They should be maintained in a fully charged state by the vehicle’s charging system. Should you suspect that your battery us not functioning properly you should have it checked by the aproffessional. Should you need to have your battery replaced, a company like Midas can assist you to select a battery that suits your lifestyle. An option for example is the EFB (Enhanced flooded battery) which improves the performance necessary for stop start-vehicles.

Keep charged at all times!

When charging your vehicle’s battery, make sure that your car is in a well ventilated area and follow proper recharging schedules to prevent your vehicles battery from overcharging.If you are attempting to jump start your vehicle make sure to read your vehicles manual, specifically the sections related to jump starts of your car battery. Certain car manufactures do not recommend jump starting vehicles, while others require special instructions related to your specific model. Make sure to use the correct polarity connection when recharging and fitting and ensure that your battery is always clean and dry, with the terminals coated with the correct protectors.

Safety first, always!

Make sure your battery is always in good condition so you don’t get stranded in the dark on a quiet road, one of the easiest ways of doing this is to avoid leavingyour car parked with accessories like the radio or lights switched on for extended periods. Remember not to lean over a battery when charging or testing and NEVER put metal objects on top of a battery.

A battery is the heart of a vehicle,if it doesn’tstart, your car won’t start either. Taking the time to check your battery oftenis worth the effort. Ideally, a battery should last between three and five years. However, climate, the demands you place on the battery, and your driving habits can impact your car's battery life. Keeping an eye on the age of the battery and remebering tohaveit tested regularly as it gets olderwill keep you charged and on the road.

For more information visit http://www.midas.co.za/