Winter: The Car Battery Killer

Winter: The Car Battery Killer

When the Mercury Falls, So Does Your Car Battery’s Energy Storage
Deena Grabowski
jumper cables in the winter

It’s 7 a.m. on a frigid winter morning. You brace yourself for the bitter chill as you head out the door, knowing you only have to endure it for a few minutes until you get the heat cranked up in your car. So, you quickly jump in, shut the door, and press the ignition, only to be greeted by a cold, unwelcomed silence that can only mean one thing: a dead battery. Freezing temperatures are a frequent killer of car batteries, leaving you shivering in the driver’s seat. But is winter weather the catalyst for a dead battery? Let’s take a look.


Old Man Winter Versus Your Car Battery

When the mercury falls, so does your car battery’s energy storage. The colder it gets, the harder your battery must work to start your engine and run the onboard electrics. And let’s face it, when it’s freezing outside, you immediately activate all the warmth resources at your disposal like the heat, heated seats, and heated steering wheel. While these accessories are marvelous, they need your battery to give them the power to perform.


Sucking Molasses Through a Straw

Cold weather causes your engine oil to thicken like molasses. The thicker the sludge, the more power your battery requires to push it through the engine. This effort takes a toll on your battery’s energy storage, especially if it’s more than three years old, or just went through a sweltering summer.


Cold Cranking Amps Keep Jack Frost at Bay

When the mercury plunges below zero, car batteries lose about 60 percent of their power, but car engines need up to double the power to start the car in freezing weather. When Jack Frost’s in town, car batteries struggle to start the vehicle. Having the right amount of Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) will improve your battery’s ability to start the engine in frigid temperatures. Vehicle manufacturers spend hundreds of hours working with engineers to determine the appropriate CCA levels for each make and model in a variety of climates. AAA/CAA sources the highest quality batteries available to provide Members with ample Cold Cranking Amps for a quick start in the harshest winter conditions.


Your Battery’s Third Birthday

Has your battery reached its third birthday? If so, schedule a convenient car battery test with your AAA Membership to avoid getting stuck out in the cold with a dead battery. A Battery Service Technician comes to you – at work, at home, almost anywhere – to test your battery and determine if it will last through the winter. Most batteries can be installed quickly on-site, and all come with a 36-month warranty with three years of free replacement if it fails. 


Don't wait until the bad weather settles in, set up a battery inspection by a AAA Battery Service Technician today!