Warning: Cold Temperatures Can Drain Car Batteries

During the winter season, it’s incredibly common for drivers to experience car battery issues – especially as the temperature continues to drop. As the climate continues to get colder, the harder it is for us all to get out and face the cold. With that in mind, there are few things that can be more frustrating than jumping into your freezing car only to realize your car won’t start.

Frigid climates are notorious for being the sole contributing factor to a weakened or drained car battery. A lot of drivers don’t understand how colder climates can wreak havoc on their car batteries, and that’s okay. That’s why it’s important to understand what causes a car battery to drain in cold climates so that we can all avoid being confronted with a drained car battery on a cold winter’s day.

winter car battery maintenance

Three reasons your car battery can drain this winter

If you’re experiencing car battery problems this season and are trying to figure out what is causing the overall issue, look no further than the climate surrounding you. Whether it be human error, corrosion, or simply just the frigid temperatures creating chaos for your car’s battery, winter sure can take its toll on our vehicles.

1. Human error.

As we’re all human, we’re all capable of human error. Thus, the number one reason our car batteries are susceptible to draining in the winter is due in large part to a lapse in judgment by us.

Mainly, the two contributing factors are as follows:

A) Forgetting to shut off all lights.

Although a lot of new car models have automatic lights, it’s still a good practice to double-check that all lights are off in your car before heading inside. By accidentally leaving a car door ajar or even a single light on, it will slowly drain your car’s battery.

B) Forgetting to unplug all electronic accessories.

Anytime you are charging an electronic device in the car or using a USB port for music, it’s imperative to ensure that these are turned off and unplugged before hopping out of the car. The reason being, even if your car is turned off, those accessories will still receive power from your car’s battery.

All in all, if a driver forgets to turn off all the lights in their cars or unplug their electronic accessories before exiting the vehicle, the car’s battery will begin to slowly drain. With a slowly draining battery, drivers might be greeted the following morning by a car that won’t come to life.

2. Corrosion.

Just like any battery, car batteries have a positive and negative point of contact. Our cars hum to life by the various cables that connect to the battery in order to make our cars run. So, when there is any form of corrosion or loose cable connection going on, it will directly interfere with your car battery’s ability to start your engine.

3.  Freezing temperatures.

As we all know, freezing temperatures slow everyone and everything down. When it comes to our cars, frigid temperatures can directly impact the chemical reaction that happens inside our vehicle’s battery that allows it to roar to life. In fact, once the temperature reaches 32 °F, a car’s battery loses about 35 percent of its power and only continues to lose more power as the temperature declines.

Here are three ways drivers can proactively preserve their battery as temperatures continue to decline this season:

A) Park your car in a garage or away from the wind.

Ideally, parking in a garage will surely help your car maintain the max amount of charge it can. However, parking in a garage isn’t what every driver can do. In the case that you do not have access to a garage, be sure to park your car downwind. This will lessen the impact of frigid wind on your vehicle.

B) Give it a charge before you head out.

If the temperature is rather low and it’s causing you anxiety, drivers can always get their battery charged at a local auto parts store.

C) Install a battery blanket.

If the winter climate is getting too low and you are concerned you will lose too much voltage in your battery, you have the option of getting a battery blanket installed at a local auto parts store or doing it at home.

Understanding how car batteries are vulnerable to colder climates will further establish the importance of applying winter car battery maintenance to your vehicle. Wintry conditions can cause immense stress amongst drivers, especially when our cars are unable to roar to life.

By knowing what can lead to a weakened or drained car battery could be the difference between a seamless commute or having to deal with a roadblock before even hitting the roadway. During these trying months on the road, please drive safe and stay warm!