Can Your Car Battery Handle Cold Weather?

Does your car battery lose its power when temperatures begin to drop? Does your car struggle to start or stall halfway to your destination?

Chemical Processes Inside Your Car Battery

Car Battery Jump-StartNormally, we don’t have noticeable issues with our car batteries in warmer weather since the heat speeds up the chemical reactions inside car batteries but, in winter, the cold temperatures slow down these reactions, making our batteries sluggish even though they may be fully-charged. 

Additionally, in cold weather, the chemical processes inside the battery that produce and store electricity slow down and reduce the battery’s ability to hold a charge. That’s why at Norlang Auto, we advise our clients who use their cars in winter for short trips to consider charging their batteries once a week, especially if their car batteries are a few years old.

Why Keep Car Batteries Fully-Charged

Automotive batteries have a Cold-Cranking Amperage (CCA) rating which represents the amount of current a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at -18º Celcius without dropping to a specified cut-off voltage. Normally, if you have a lead-acid battery that is fully-charged, it can withstand temperatures of up to –50º Celsius. However, if your battery is in a low state of charge, it can freeze at –1º Celsius.

Cold Weather Means Higher Demands On Your Car Battery

It’s also important to remember that during winter we put a higher strain on our car batteries. This increase in strain happens because of the demands of accessories such as interior heating, headlights and windshield wipers that tend to get used more often. As a result, it is harder for your battery to fully charge unless your vehicle is equipped with a high-performance alternator. This reduced capacity, due to cold temperatures, can speed up the demise of an older battery.

Heed Warning Signs 

It is highly recommended that you pay closer attention to your car batteries after three years of installation. Does your vehicle sound sluggish when trying to start it? Do your headlights and/or interior lights seem dimmer than usual? If so, you should have your battery tested as these are warning signs that you may experience battery failure in the near future.

Bring your vehicle to Norlang Auto where we have the proper diagnostic tools and staff to accurately diagnose starter and electrical system problems. In addition, the professional technicians can run additional tests when necessary, on computer systems and the associated electrical systems in the vehicle. After the diagnosis, we can repair any problems that may have been identified by using quality parts to ensure reliable service for the life of your vehicle.

Contact Norlang Auto Repair specialists for your starter, charging or electrical systems problems and we’ll get you going again.