Dead Battery In Winter: Explanations And Solutions
Wonder why your car battery dies fast when the weather is turning cold? Do you want to improve your battery quality in winter? Check out the article for the detailed explanation and solution!
Did you know that cold weather is a battery killer?
At zero degrees, a car’s battery loses approximately 60 percent of its power
In extremely cold weather, a car’s engine requires more than two times the power to start!
The accessories you plug into our cars (upgraded audio systems, cell phone chargers, and GPS devices) make your car battery’s life drain even as fast as lightning.
Normally at 32 degrees, a car battery is 35 percent weaker.
Your car’s battery can be dead when winter comes
If you’re living in an area that gets super cold when winter comes, you must remember to carry along jumper cables or jumper toolbox. This is because the cold weather will ‘bestow’ you a discharged battery. Not only car batteries die, but also the batteries of your camera or phone can drain fast and stop working in extremely cold weather. Consequently, people keep asking ‘Why does my battery discharge really fast in cold weather’?
Why batteries percentage drop in a blink of an eye in low temperature?
The length batteries can maintain their charge as well as the speed they discharge when being used depend greatly on their designs and the surrounding environment temperature.
A cool battery always holds its charge better than a warm one, but a warm battery operates better. According to Battery University (BU), a warm battery cranks the engine better than a cold one. To be specific, a battery providing 100 percent capacity at 27°C (80°F) will generally deliver only 50 percent at –18°C (0°F).
However, the discharge rate of cold batteries is much faster than that of hot batteries although cold batteries are supposed to hold their power better. However, You must keep in mind that most batteries can be severely damaged due to the unusual excessive temperature which may lead to an explosion.
Trying to Refrigerate charged batteries can help them maintain their charge; however, they will discharge really fast when being used. Therefore, BU recommends that you should use the batteries in room temperature (slightly below 20°C to 27°C) to make sure that they last longer.
You should keep an eye on the temperature to estimate your battery’s condition
You must learn that the electric current is produced whenever a link is formed from a battery’s positive terminal and its negative one? At the time both terminals are properly connected, an initiated chemical reaction generates electrons in order to provide the battery with an electric current. Low temperature slows down the reactions than usual. As the batteries’ power decrease, they don’t receive a current strong enough to function. However, if they are warmed up again, they will operate as usual.
High and low temperature
Temperature affects the performance of a car battery dramatically
One possible and usual method to solve this problem is to preheat batteries. When the batteries have already been warmed and insulated, take the advantage of their own power to perform a heating coil is highly recommended. It is a good idea to have a warm battery, but you should keep in mind that the discharge curves of most batteries depend a lot on their designs and chemical substances rather than on mere temperature. In other words, if the electric current drawn by the devices is low compared to the capacity of the cell, the impact of temperature can be neglected.
Nevertheless, when batteries aren’t in use, it’ll gradually lose its charge due to the leakage of the poles. Once again temperature plays a significant role in this chemical reaction; that is to say, under cooler temperature batteries will hold their charge better than when it is under warmer temperatures. For example, some rechargeable batteries are flat for about two or more weeks at room temperature, yet can last up to twice if refrigerated.
If your car battery’s gone dead and you have no skills or sufficient tools, you may call an agent to help you “resurrect” it
In other words, you can just understand and keep in mind that:
Refrigerated batteries keep their charge much longer than batteries in room temperature. On the other hand, hot batteries cannot do the job excellently as batteries put in a room or cold temperature. Therefore, it is best to keep unused batteries at cool places.
Refrigerated batteries discharge more quickly than warmer ones, so whenever you use a cold one, you may need a warm battery in reserve.
Some batteries are severely affected by the high-temperature condition. A serious consequence which can lead to an explosion. This is usually seen in modern lithium batteries, for instance, those in laptops or cell phones.
Having basic repairing knowledge and skills can help you out in some situations on road.
Below are tips for helping you avoid a dead battery
Keep an eye on the lifespan of your battery. When your battery has accompanied with you for years, it is best to replace your old friend. The age of a battery can range between five and ten years. If your car is still using the original battery, it will not be a bad idea to get a new battery in advance of the incoming winter if you have been using it for five to seven years. Larger battery capacity does not mean better performance. However, the most compatible one with your car is the perfect one to buy and you can check the model in your car’s manual.
Make sure that there isn’t any corrosion which preventing your car from cranking. Corrosion opens a way for battery acid to leak and corrode its surrounding areas. Frequently check your car’s battery to see if there is any cause that leads to corrosion. When corrosion occurs, remember to carefully clean away all the corrosive residues and fix the battery or replace it if the risk is too severe.
Purchase a battery blanket to help your battery have enough heat to prevent its fluid from freezing. You can also mount a trickle charger on your car’s battery. It will provide the battery with enough power while the car is not in use to keep it from dying in cold weather.
Try to minimize the number of technological accessories using your car’s energy as they can drain the power produced by the car’s alternator and slow the charging process of the battery or keep the battery from charging. If you want to use those accessories, use them moderately, otherwise, your car’s alternator will not have enough time to produce sufficient power to supply power to the whole electrical systems and charge the battery.
Disconnect the battery when your car is stored in a garage throughout the winter. Moreover, when your car is not used, keep the battery disconnected to protect it.
DRIVEtorque hopes that the aforementioned explanations and recommended solutions give you a better insight into how batteries really work at different temperatures and how to deal with dead car issue during winter.