Last updated on May 16, 2017 at 02:41 pm
East Coast winters can be tough and colder temperatures can be especially hard on car batteries. But with a little patience and a few helpful tips, you can feel confident that your battery will keep working all season long. Plymouth Rock Assurance put together these tips to get the most out of your car battery.
Like most issues with your car, routine maintenance is essential. Having your car serviced and your battery inspected before winter will help prevent problems that could arise down the road.
Before the cold sets in, it is good idea to check your battery connections. Make sure they are clear of corrosion, salt, and buildup that can come from everyday use. If your car has been struggling to start and the battery is more than four years old, we recommend replacing the unit.
A full battery will not freeze until temperatures are well below the minus 30 degree mark. However, unless your battery is new it is probably not fully charged. In fact, if your battery is almost completely discharged, it can freeze at just 32 degrees. You can purchase a portable battery charger from most auto parts stores to help maintain battery levels. Just make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions.
When it comes to using your battery, some mechanics recommend turning your key to the first position so that the radio or headlights are on before starting the engine. The belief is this will create less strain on the battery to start the ignition process. This same tactic can also be applied to a push-button start.
You should also shut off all automotive accessories before starting the car. Items like your MP3 player and smartphone charger are drawing on the battery. Also, switch your heater to the off position. This will make it easier for your battery to generate the energy needed to start the engine.
Remember, your car battery loses 33 percent of its power when the temperature dips below freezing, and over 50 percent of its power when the temperature falls below zero. Of course, one of the best and easiest tips is to park your vehicle in a garage, which greatly reduces the impact the cold can have on any part of your automobile.
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