Cold weather can play havoc with a vehicle’s battery, threatening starting and the ability to handle winter’s increased electrical loads.
“A conventional 12-volt battery maintains about 40 percent of its capacity at 0 degrees F, so it’s very important to make sure the vehicle’s battery is up to the task when the weather turns really cold. Most engines won’t start when cranking voltage drops too far below 12 volts, and a battery loses some of its available voltage and cold cranking amps (CCA) as it ages. So it’s a good idea to take precautions as the chill envelopes us,” said Andreas Tobler, Product Manager, Energy Systems for Bosch.
Tobler suggested these precautions to avoid cold weather battery problems:
•Check all battery and starter connections. Make sure they are tight and cables are top quality and in good condition.
•Make sure the alternator is operating at full capacity to keep the engine running and operate lights, windshield wipers and heater fan while keeping the battery charged. Replace it if questionable.
•Have the battery tested to make sure it has sufficient capacity and is new enough to handle frigid temperature starting, heavy electrical demand. Install a fresh battery if needed.
•If the battery charge is low, have it charged or use a modern portable battery charger to keep it in top form. An occasional charge can keep the battery ready,as well as revitalize an exhausted battery.
“Cold cranking amps (CCA) is the amount of current a battery can provide at 0°F (−18°C). The rating is defined as the current a lead-acid battery at that temperature can deliver for 30 seconds and maintain at least 1.2 volts per cell (7.2 volts for a 12-volt battery). In other words, CCA/cold cranking amps determine how much power is available to start the car on cold winter mornings,” Tobler said.
“Beat the frigid weather by making sure your vehicle’s battery is ready for it,” he said.
If you’re not sure if your battery is up to snuff, Douglas Automotive Repair Inc would be happy to check it out for you. Call us or use our convenient on-line request form today to set up a time to stop in.