Why Batteries Discharge Quicker
in Cold Weather
By: Battery Systems
People who live in colder climates have a higher probability of keeping jumper cables in their vehicle than other people. Why? Their batteries discharge faster. The electric current generated by a battery is produced with the contact made between the negative and positive terminals. The connection of both terminals creates a chemical reaction that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. So, when temperatures are low, the process of this chemical reaction is slowed down thus producing less current. And as the batteries reach a point where their deliverance is much lower than normal, the current being delivered cannot keep up with the demand until it is warmed up again and is able to operate normally.
What is the solution?
Make sure that a battery is kept warm. For example, vehicles residing in a place with snow will do better if they are kept in the garage due to insulation and warmer temperatures. Keep in mind – a general rule of the thumb suggested by US Battery is that for every 15-20 degrees below 80°F, the battery loses 10% of its capacity.
Keep the battery on a trickle charger, especially if the battery is not frequently used. One of the most common mistakes today is leaving batteries stored in a discharged state. When this is done, especially in cold temperatures, a battery can freeze. However, if the battery is kept charged during cold weather, the electrolyte can avoid being frozen and causing unexpected failures.
Lead acid batteries are designed to work in a variety of temperatures. However, their performance can be changed to perform less efficiently if the weather is either too hot or too cold. Our best suggestion is to get your battery tested at any of our Battery Systems locations before winter and keep in mind the following points which layout the most common reasons batteries die in the winter.
Batteries which have already aged will not deliver the same performance as a fresh one. A battery does not give complaints. Instead, its ability to deliver the same amperage in a short period will not be the same as it ages.
Keep in mind the Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) of a battery. The higher the number, the better it is equipped to handle the demands placed on it in cold weather.
Using your headlights and windshield wipers put a higher strain on your battery.
Did you know motor oil gets thicker in colder weather? By getting thicker, the engine has more difficulty turning over and that requires the starter motor to draw more amperage from the battery.
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