Winter is one of the hardest seasons for a car’s battery. Although batteries aren’t intended to last forever, the freezing cold temperatures that often accompany winter can drain your car’s battery even faster. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to help your car’s battery continue to run strong all winter long. Northeast Battery offers these three helpful tips to make your battery run as long as possible.
Get Your Battery Checked
Batteries have an average lifespan of 3-5 years. If they are subject to extreme temperatures or harsh conditions, they generally don’t last as long as batteries that operate in more moderate environments. Ideally, you should have your battery checked before winter arrives. Fortunately, a battery check is one of the quickest car maintenance appointments you can make. When you arrive at the repair shop, a technician will check the battery’s strength to see how much life is left. He or she will recommend replacing the battery if it appears that it won’t last through winter.
Go for a Drive
Even though you might want to stay indoors and at home in winter, batteries want to get moving. Each day, aim to drive your vehicle for at least 10 minutes during the winter months. The engine keeps the battery warm as you drive, which in turn prevents it from getting too cold and losing some of its lifespan. The engine also naturally charges the battery as you drive along, which makes it last longer. Starting up your car each day will also give you an indication of its typical start patterns. If it appears to be starting up more slowly than usual, or if you notice that the lights appear dimmer when you turn the car on, the battery may be dying. If you notice those symptoms or other signs that the battery’s health is not optimal, bring your car in to have a mechanic inspect the battery.
Keep the Car in a Garage
If you have access to a garage, try to park your car in it as often as you can. Along with cold winter temperatures, wind chill can zap the battery’s life. If you’re away from home, parking in a covered garage will help preserve the battery’s life. If neither option is available, look for a parking spot in a frequently trafficked area. The passing cars generate heat, which in turn warms the ambient temperatures around your car. Alternatively, try to park your vehicle near a building that has heat or closed to equipment that is heated and running. If you do need to park the car outside, look for a spot that gets sunlight, which will also warm up the car and protect the battery.
If you have questions or concerns about car batteries, don’t hesitate to contact Northeast Battery today.