A car’s battery is essential. If it’s not working, your car isn’t starting. As with most systems in a vehicle, extreme temperatures cause extra stress for the systems and your battery is one of them.

Batteries that are getting older are more susceptible to failure as the temp dips. Batteries will also freeze/fail when temperatures are extremely cold. You may remember your parent’s “plugging in” the car overnight in the winter to be sure the battery would work in the morning. While “plugging the car in” is not a practice any longer, it helps those of us who are older understand what extreme temps do.

Some temperature guidelines to stay aware of are noted in this graphic.

At roughly about 32F, car batteries lose about 35% of their power. The colder it gets the more power is lost. The function of your battery goes beyond the initial starting of the vehicle. Batteries also supply electricity to the car’s accessories like the interior lights, the heat switch, your headlights, and the windshield wipers. It’s important at all times of the year to be aware of turning the ignition completely off and making sure your headlights are shut off when you leave the vehicle. If these accessories are left on and continue to draw power when the car is not running, you will wear out the battery charge to the point the car will not start the next time you need it.

Some tips to remember about your battery’s health include periodically checking for corrosion and cracks. If you see any corrosion, you can scrub it off with a baking soda and water solution, but it is always a good idea to be safe and bring it in for a cleaning just to be safe. Even if you are maintaining your car battery, it is suggested to replace your battery every three to five years.

If you need of a new battery or just want a second opinion on your battery’s wear and tear, call Auto Works to schedule your appointment today. The Place Your Neighbor’s Trust.