- by Joe Weber - updated on 10/6/2023
A couple of months ago we talked about what the relentless summer heat can do to your car or truck battery. It's that time of the year when we need to talk about what happens to your battery in the bitter-cold winter months. The cold is right around the corner, and it's best to be ready for winter before it's too late.
Lead-acid batteries are a lot like us. When it starts to get cold, we have to work harder to stay warm and produce the same level of work that we did in the summer. Car batteries are no different, as the temperatures drop there are several things that will start to occur inside your battery.
The electrolyte solution in your car battery is made up of sulfuric acid and water. This combination mixes when the battery is charged, which helps it resist freezing. A fully charged car battery won't freeze until the temperature reaches -76°F. Leaving the battery in a partially charged state, when the solution isn't mixed, can cause the battery to begin freezing at 32°F.
If you are one of the millions of Americans who park their cars outside, you will probably run into these issues in the winter. If you are from the midwest you probably remember the polar vortex of 2019 when wind chills dropped below -55°F. During that time, car batteries were showing all of the typical cold weather symptoms.
The first deep freeze of the season is coming tonight. You drive home from your office, which is only about 3 miles away. You pull into the driveway and open the garage door. You can't park in there because it's filled with tools, kids' toys, and gardening supplies. So, you park in the driveway, lock the doors and greet your family in the kitchen.
The temperature drops below zero overnight with a strong wind. In the morning, you get ready to leave for work at your usual time and walk outside. You sit down in the freezing car and turn the key. A very slow crank can be heard and then nothing happens. Now you are going to be late for work trying to get the car started or waiting for a ride.
With the car being left outside in the elements, all three of the above things happened.
Don't worry though. Sometimes we have no choice other than to park outside. There are several things you can do to keep your battery in healthy condition through the winter months.
Batteries naturally deteriorate over time. Generally speaking, a car or truck battery will last 3 - 5 years. If you have an older battery going into the bitter-cold winter months, you could be in for an unfortunate surprise that you will quickly experience. Cold weather will expose the need for a new battery very quickly.
This is one of the many reasons why you need to keep your battery healthy in the summer and drive over to Batteries Plus before the cold hits to have your battery tested to see if you should replace it before problems arise.
Nothing is worse than having to deal with battery issues in the bitter cold. Having a battery that is designed to perform in the cold is your first line of defense against winter battery woes. The best battery for use in cold climates is an Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) battery. Instead of a loose electrolyte solution seen in flooded car batteries, AGM batteries have the electrolyte solution absorbed into a fiberglass mat, tightly weaved in between the battery plates.
I know what you're thinking, "What does that have to do with it being better in the cold?". Let me explain.
Thanks to the design of AGM batteries, they are superior to flooded batteries in the cold. These batteries are also much better in the heat, so they really are the best batteries you can get for your car or truck.
We love all batteries but X2Power batteries will always have a special place in our hearts. Our X2Power batteries have the backing of over 30 years of battery experience built into each battery. All of our X2Power batteries are engineered by enthusiasts (yes, we love cars and trucks too) for enthusiasts.
You won't just get great all-climate performance. You will also get more rugged batteries for rough terrain, pure lead internals for more power and corrosion resistance, longer warranties and 3 times the life vs. flooded batteries. Stop by your local Batteries Plus today to see them today!