Why Your Battery Might Not Make it Through The Winter

Why Your Battery Might Not Make it Through The Winter

What Are The Signs of a Dying Battery?
Kip Doyle
battery test

They say that the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, but shouldn't "freezing cold Western and Central New York winters" also make that list?

Buffalo averages 49 days below 32 °F each year with cold temperatures often lingering until April, according to CurrentResults.com. Similarly, Rochester and Syracuse both average 46 days below freezing annually.

The fact is, if you live around here, you're going to experience months of cold weather over the next few months. And with cold weather, inevitably, comes dead car batteries.


Why Do Batteries Die in the Winter?

Outdoor temperatures, both hot and cold, takes a serious toll on your car's battery. The problems often starts in the summer, when heat evaporates the water in your battery's electrolyte (an electricity conducting solution). This leads to sulfation, a buildup of lead sulfate crystals commonly responsible for early battery failure.

As temperatures drop in the winter, the chemical reactions in your battery will slow down. Meanwhile, your car's cold engine and oil require more power to start, plus your heater and defrost take an additional toll. It's a recipe for failure, especially on cold mornings when you need to commute!


Weak Battery Warning Signs

You may have a battery problem if the starter motor cranks the engine slowly or the Battery/Charging warning lamp is illuminated. Another weak battery indicator on older cars is dim incandescent headlights, particularly at idle. However, not every failing battery reveals itself through obvious symptoms.


Avoid Being Stranded by a Battery Problem

Remember to have your car's battery inspected at every oil change to make sure the cable connections are clean and tight, and the hold down hardware is secure. Once a battery reaches three years of age, have it tested annually. The test will identify if the battery has deteriorated to the point where replacement is recommended to prevent an unexpected failure. For honest, quality auto repair and inspection, trust our network of AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities. Find one near you here.


AAA Members can contact the AAA Mobile Battery Service to have their car battery tested and replaced (if necessary) anywhere their car is parked. Beat the rush of dead batteries when the deep cold hits and have your battery inspected for free today!


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