Freezing temperatures could be draining your car battery

Courtesy of WikiHow

Freezing temperatures during the winter can do a number on your car battery. The expected life span of a car battery is three to five years, but inclement weather and the use of electronics have been cutting that time in half.

Roadside assistance calls increase during the winter months, most calls are for car battery jumps and frozen locks.

Breiona Stallings, fourth-year health care management student from Pompano, was shocked when her 2-year-old car gave her trouble starting after she returned from winter break.

“I left my car here in Tallahassee over break and when I came back during the second week of school my car just wouldn’t start and I bought it brand new… I was so annoyed because there’s no reason a new car should have this trouble,” Stallings said.

According to AAA research center, during the winter a car can lose up to 35 percent battery at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the cold weather hits the car battery has to work overtime, taking almost twice as much current to start your engine than normal.

Mike Johnson, Auto Zone mechanic, said it’s best before the winter temperatures settle in for motorists to have their battery tested. If your battery life is sub-par, purchasing a portable battery charger and charging your battery at least twice a week will  help you make through to spring.

Now that standard cars are equipped with more technology the battery life is plummeting. Keeping your phones and other electronic devices connected and charging through the USB port or in the cigarette lighter socket continuously strain and drain your battery.

Kyle Zackery, fourth-year biology student from Orlando, has replaced her car battery twice in the past four years.

“At first I thought it was a bad battery … but I replaced my car battery literally two years ago and after winter break it gave out on me again … this time the mechanic told me I should take some of the USB cords out to help save my battery life especially during the winter months,” Zackery said.

Usually the expected lifespan of a battery is three to five years, so it’s important for motorists to look out for signs of a dying battery. Johnson said there are about four noticeable signs that your battery is dying or needs to be checked.

  1. There’s a delay when start your engine.

  2. Headlights are dim when starting your engine but brighten when you press the gas.

  3. Car makes clicking noise when starting the engine.

  4. Skipped out on car maintenance.