Battery problems are one of the most common car issues in winter. Often this can lead to starting problems as well. The battery in your car powers the starting system. So if there’s no power your car will not start. That’s why it’s important to sort battery problems quickly and replace the battery if it is faulty.
The cold unfortunately can have a very bad effect on the internals of the battery. Cold batteries have to perform much harder to give the electric system the right current. Generally, the cold will bring down the battery’s output, as well as its ability to charge and hold it.
Breaking down when you need to rush to that important family dinner is the last thing you want. Fortunately, there is a couple of things you can do to help your battery through winter. That way you can prevent getting stuck in freezing cold weather.
1. Battery check
Check if the battery terminals and clamps are free of corrosion and check connections. It is also worth checking whether power output and charging capacity are as they should be. If you’re not sure how to check, then it’s worth getting a battery check with a mechanic.
2. Charging system check
During a battery check, you may find that there is nothing wrong with the battery’s output or ability to charge. If your car struggles to charge still then it’s likely the charging system is not doing its job as well as it should. Your alternator could be on its way out in that case. It may no longer be able to help charge the battery enough.
3. Regular charges
Charging the battery regularly with a battery charger when you’re not using the car can also help to keep battery output up. Getting an intelligent charger that is left on the battery can really help. It will often make starting your car a lot easier.
4. Turning off electrical devices
What will really help a battery in winter as well, is to make sure all your lights and wipers are turned off before you start the car. That way all the battery’s capacity can be put towards getting the car started.
5. Drive your car
It may be a surprise but not driving your car can have a bad effect on the battery. If it isn´t charged by driving the car its condition will deteriorate. Especially in winter when the cold alone already has a bad effect on the battery.
The main issue is that modern cars will use electricity even when the car is switched off. The battery is then used to keep underlying systems active. Even your alarm system will drain the battery of all its power eventually.
Our top tip is simply to go drive your car! That way you can keep your battery charged, and minimise non-starting issues when you do need your car.
Read more about telltale signs your battery needs replacing: 5 Signs Your Car Battery Needs Replacing