Batteries and the Weather

01.05.17

Winter is tough on batteries, for two main reasons. Your engine is harder to turn over because all the oil inside them has turned to molasses. Combustion reactions can become more sluggish in the cold and condensation may freeze parts of the fuel line. All this demands much more current from a battery, and to add that problem, your battery cannot produce its normal amount of energy because of the cold.

The chemical reactions that generate electricity are slower at a lower temperatures. The huge current demands of the starter motor–200 to 400 amps–can cause the battery clamps to heat up if the connection at the clamp to post isn’t perfect. When the car starts, the connection will cool off whcih can leave a poor connection. A poor connection can also prevent the battery from getting fully charged. A discharged battery, unlike one that’s fully charged, can freeze, damaging it internally.

While more cars won’t start on cold winter mornings, more batteries actually fail during the summer months, when intense heat cooks out the electrolyte, boiling the battery dry. So both seasons are working together against your battery, which is why its important to have your battery and its connections periodically checked out at Heritage.

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