Car batteries, Cold Weather and Winter Tips and Advice

The answer to help prevent any problems that your battery may incur during the winter months is to keep your battery warm. Keeping your vehicle in the garage will help to incubate the battery, protecting it being hit will extreme weather conditions. If you intend to store your car during winter or do not have the need to drive regularly, a battery maintainer will charge your car battery periodically to keep it in working condition.

Taking care of your vehicle is important to making sure your car runs correctly and prevents any costly repairs.  It is a good idea to get you battery and electrical system checked before winter sets in. If there are any signs of a failing battery it is advisable to replace it immediately to save you being caught out in the cold weather.

Using a battery charger/optimiser can help to keep your vehicle charged and work to prevent freezing.

Make sure you prevent draining your battery from your electrical devices in the car by turning off any equipment before you turn off the engine. Devices such as sat navs, iPod and phone chargers should be disconnected too as they can drain your battery.

If your car is having a problem trying to start, we have some tips that might help you get on the move again.

  • Try dipping the clutch to reduce the load on the battery when starting the car
  • Keep your fuel tank high
  • Give a few minutes between starting your car, then attempting it again as this gives it time to recover
  • Keep your battery warm
  • Switch off all electrical items before starting the car
  • If these methods do not ignite the battery, you could try to jump start the battery. Please refer to manual and take care. Use our jump-starting instructions for more advice
During the cold winter months, the last thing you need is to breakdown due to car battery problems. Battery problems are one of the biggest causes of breakdowns in the cold weather and understanding the effects the weather can have on your car battery can help you to try and avoid a battery problem this winter.

Adverse weather conditions can often lead to your battery generating less energy as the chemical reaction slows down which makes starting your vehicle more difficult as it puts add pressure on your car battery making it work harder. Along with this, we often use electrical heaters, headlights, water and windscreen wipes in the winter therefore adding more restraints onto the battery.

Your car battery’s ability to charge is also reduced in the cold weather, something to think about when buying a car battery. The cold cranking amps (CCA) stated on your car battery refer to how well the battery can cope with the cold weather. The higher the CCA the better the battery will perform in cold weather conditions.

If your car battery will not start, you may need to replace it. The RAC car battery service offers manufacturer quality car batteries fitted by trusted technicians on the day you order (if ordered by 2pm).


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