Car Battery Maintenance Tips for Winter

A man inspecting a car on roadside
Winters can get really hard on your car’s battery as it slows down the electrochemical reaction, which sends the power to your battery’s terminal ends. During the cold winter months, the battery terminals become susceptible to moisture build-up due to continuous flurries, snow storms and slush that can severely affect its functionality. Additionally, the chances of your car battery dying in extremely cold weather are higher than in any other season of the year, mainly because of three reasons:

  1. The engine can become difficult to turn over, meaning the starter motor needs more power to ignite the engine as the motor oil gets thicker and doesn’t have variating viscosity to operate in different hot and cold weather conditions. 
  2. Your car’s headlights, HVAC system, windshield wipers and other accessories draw more power to work properly and continuously during freezing temperatures. 
  3. Keeping the car idle for extended periods may affect the alternator’s performance, making it difficult to turn on the engine when required. 

ALSO READ: How to Get Your Vehicle Ready for Winter 

You can prevent your car battery from dying this winter with some easy maintenance tips suggested by the expert technicians at Budds’ Chevrolet Buick GMC.   

1. Test your battery 

Use a multimeter to test your battery’s charge to see how long it can run on a cold winter day. Normally, the charge needs to be 12.45 volts or above for a smooth journey, but if it’s below that level you need to charge the battery to avoid getting stranded away from home. 

2. Take help from the experts

No one can evaluate the condition of your car’s battery more than a knowledgeable technician, so make sure you schedule a service appointment at Budds’ Chevrolet Buick GMC’s service centre for a proper battery examination. The maintenance service will include cleaning the battery terminals, checking motor oil and other fluid levels, as well as tightening the cables, ensuring you have a smooth journey throughout the winter months. 

3. Don’t forget to carry jumper cables 

You can’t predict what may come your way, and when your vehicle may unexpectedly break down, so it’s always a great idea to carry a pair of jumper cables in your winter survival kit. 

4. Keep your car running 

Try running your car for at least 10 kilometres a few times a week to keep the alternator running and fresh. When you run your vehicle frequently in winter, it replenishes power to ensure the proper working condition of the battery. In fact, it makes starting the engine easier after a heavy snowstorm, or when the temperature starts to drop aggressively. 

5. Park your car under a shelter 

Try to park your vehicle under sheltered parking in winter to avoid moisture accumulation and contaminants entering the battery terminals. Additionally, insulated parking can also help in experiencing fewer failed starts on winter mornings.

To learn more about winter auto maintenance tips, visit Budds’ Chevrolet Buick GMC in Oakville, ON. You can also book an appointment with our technicians for a comprehensive battery check-up.