As the temperature drops, so does your car battery’s power. Before you break out the hot chocolate and curl up by the fire, make sure your battery is ready for winter. Otherwise, Jack Frost will quite literally be nipping at your nose while you’re stranded with a car that won’t start.
Starting a vehicle in cold weather puts a lot of strain on your car battery. It may need up to twice the amount of current than normal to start the engine when temperatures take a dive. AAA Automotive Research Center reports that at 32°F, a car’s battery loses about 35 percent of its strength. When temperatures plummet to 0°F, it loses about 60 percent of its power. If your battery is teetering on its last leg, a cold snap could be the crowning blow that leaves you stuck with a car that won’t start.
Signs Your Battery May Be Bad
Take preventative maintenance now to avoid an unwelcome surprise. If your battery shows the following signs, it may be time to recycle and replace it.
The Battery Is More Than Three Years Old.
The average lifespan of an automotive battery is three to five years. With the increase of electronics in vehicles, this number may skew closer to three years.
Lights Look Different.
If your headlights are dim and appear yellow, instead of white, your battery’s power may be declining. You might also notice that interior dome lights appear dim, or flicker, and warning lights may display on the dashboard.
The Car Horn Sounds Strange.
When your car horn sounds less emphatic than usual, your car battery could be on the fritz.
Electronic Accessories Fail.
Signs your car battery is failing include your radio, heated seats, or cell phone charger not working as usual.
It Doesn’t Look or Smell Right.
Sometimes, a simple visual inspection or smell test is all it takes to know your battery is in trouble. If you notice a sulfur or rotten egg smell; or your battery is swollen, cracked, or corroded, it may be time for a replacement.
If you notice your vehicle is experiencing any of the signs above, schedule a time for a AAA battery technician to come to your vehicle and test your battery, starter and alternator. We’ll even deliver a new battery, install it and take away your old one.
Battery Service includes:
- 3 year free replacement warranty
- Free testing and installation for AAA members
- Quality that meets or exceeds OE specifications
- Exclusive AAA/CAA member pricing
*Battery Service is available to all members, although testing, battery purchase and installation may not be available in all areas.
Deals for the DIY’ers
If you’re familiar with removing and replacing a car battery and would rather do it yourself, take advantage of AAA member savings at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store. The AAA Premium Battery is now in stock and is backed by a limited warranty that includes a 3-year free replacement. AAA members get $22 off the retail price.