Make Sure Your Car Battery Can Survive the Winter Months

December 30, 2011

It’s been a relatively mild December month here in the Northeast with no snow in the forecast. We usually get most of our snow in January and February which is also the coldest time of the year.

If you have an old car like mine it’s important to check the component that’s most vulnerable to cold weather, the car battery.

Cold weather can drain the power from a battery fairly quickly especially if the battery hasn’t been in use for a while.

Most of us have been in this situation before. You wake up in the morning and go through the usual routine of getting ready for work. Ready to tackle on the day you jump in the car and turn the ignition. No lights on the dashboard and no response from the engine.

If you’re lucky you have a membership to AAA and a tow truck comes to save your day. If you’re extra lucky you have a nice boss and he believes your story for being late.

You can avoid this situation by making sure your battery is in good condition. But how do you test for the condition?

On every battery there’s a sticker that shows the service life. It will have a number, something like 4 or 5, showing the number of years it’s expected to last.

If your battery is past the service life then it’s time to buy a new one. You can also go to an auto shop and test for the battery’s charge. Follow the mechanic’s recommendations.

Making sure the battery terminals are clean is another thing most people tend to overlook. Over time, the terminals can get corroded and white deposits can form around the posts. A dirty terminal can sometimes prevent a car from starting.

If you find a lot of gunk on your battery terminals then you should know how to clean it properly.

My car battery is due for replacement. It’s been in service for nearly five years according to the sticker. I’m not taking any chances and will be replacing it soon.

How old is your car battery? It’s time to check now.

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