Car battery tips for Winter

It is often only when the battery gives up and the car can not start that we become aware of the car’s battery. However, if you drive especially shorter trips, you need to pay extra attention to the car’s battery and its capacity. This is because it is not certain that the battery will have time to charge properly, and this will in the long run reduce the battery’s durability.

Why is the winter harsh on the car battery? 

December, January and February are often the three hardest months for the car’s battery, as the car has an extra-large power consumption for lights, air conditioning, seat heating, wipers, etc. 

In severe frosts, the car’s battery can lose up to half its capacity or may even give up completely. This means that many car owners have to call on roadside assistance to bring the car to life. As temperatures drop, the number of assistants to motorists in need of start-up assistance increases by up to 50 percent.

How do you make the battery ready for winter?

You can get your car’s battery ready for winter by following these two tips: 

Tip 1: Increase battery capacity

If you drive the shortest trips, the battery can easily run out of power. This is because light, seat heating, fan, electric rear window, radio and especially engine heater steal the car’s power.

Especially in the cold months, it can be a good idea to charge the battery overnight so that the battery capacity comes to the top.

Use a home charger that can be purchased at most auto battery stores.

Tip 2: Clean the battery terminals

Especially on older cars, ir can form on the battery terminals and at the battery terminal on both terminals. Ir gives a bad contact between the cord and the battery, and here some of the power that is otherwise needed to start the car can easily disappear.

Initially, you can easily remove ir with boiling water. Next, lubricate the poles and battery clamp with a little Vaseline to protect against new ir. The easiest way to do this is to disassemble the pole briefly.

What does it mean for the battery that you take the car on a skiing holiday?

If you are going on a self-ski holiday, you need to be extra careful, as it places extra demands on the car’s battery. If the battery already has a low capacity, you may run out of power when you arrive at your holiday destination. Also, remember that the car usually stands still at the destination throughout the holiday. It can challenge the battery when you need to start it for the trip home. 

Handpicked best car batteries:

Optima redtop 34r

Optima Redtop 34R is a high-performance AGM battery for a reliable start-up every time.

Cranking (CCA): 800
Capacity (20Hr): 50Amp/Hour
Dimensions (LxWxTH): 254 x 173 x 199 mm
Terminal: SAE
Voltage: 12

Lithium car batteries

The ALLiON AL12105BT Lithium-iron battery is a high performing 12V Deep Cycle battery with Bluetooth technology and a capacity of 105 Amp Hours (Ah). Suitable for RV & leisure applications.

Deep cycle batteries

Deep cycle batteries are a little different than usual car batteries. Regular car batteries produce a shorter burst of electricity whereas Deep cycle batteries produce ongoing, lower yet consistent, levels of power. 

How do you give the car start aid?

Should the accident be out and the battery has given up, it may be an option to start the car using another car and a set of jump leads. 

It is very important that you check the car’s instruction manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for starting assistance for your particular car. There are some car models where jump leads must not be used. Alternatively, you must call for roadside assistance to revive the car.

If the battery is not salvageable, then it’s time for a replacement. It is not on all cars where it is equally easy to handle it yourself. Then a workshop can be helpful.

It can rarely be worth choosing the cheapest battery, as the quality can fluctuate a lot.

What applies to batteries with battery management system?

Several cars are equipped with an intelligent system for charging control of the starter battery, also called a battery management system. This means that changing the battery as well as charging with a maintenance charger requires more attention.

Replacement of battery with battery management system

If the car is equipped with a battery management system and the battery needs to be replaced, it requires in many cases that the car must be coded for the new battery to optimise the charging process, service life and the car’s other functions such as stop/start. Therefore, always check what applies to your car.

Charging the battery battery management system 

When charging a car with a battery management system, it also requires attention. In this case, the connection of the negative terminal from the maintenance charger must be connected to a special point on the ground / negative side immediately before the negative pole of the battery. Otherwise, the charging process will not be optimal, which in turn has an impact on the service life and the car’s other functions. Therefore, always check what applies to your car.

Maintenance charger for  battery management system

Please note that cars with a battery management system are typically fitted with a battery of the types AGM, lithium and the like. and requires maintenance chargers designed specifically for this.