Your car battery is one of those things you rarely think about — that is, until you have to. If you’re being forced to think about your car battery, it probably means that there’s something wrong with it.
There’s nothing worse than being stranded with a dead battery, especially in the dead of winter. The cold tends to wear down your car’s battery, meaning that you may find yourself in this predicament when you least expect it.
If you are the impatient type, here is an abridged list without an explanation. I would encourage you to continue reading, however.
7 Easy Ways to Keep A Car Battery Charged Through Winter
The only way to prevent this is by making sure that your battery stays charged. Now if you’re anything like me, you’re probably thinking “how is anyone supposed to know that?” And believe me, I hear you. Up until recently, I was in the same boat.
There are a few ways to do this, so make sure that you’re taking notes. And if you don’t have a pen and paper handy, don’t worry. I’ll wait.
1. Get a Trickle Charger
According to the good people over at Interstate Battery, keeping the battery charged is the most important thing you can do to maintain the health of your battery.
Unfortunately, your cell phone charger isn’t going to be of much use to your car’s battery. However, you can purchase a battery charger specifically for your car. You can purchase one of these at an auto parts store to have in your car.
Yes, it’s worth investing in a trickle charger for your car battery during the cold winter months. A trickle charger provides a steady flow of electricity to your car battery, helping maintain its charge and keep it healthy even when temperatures are low.
This is especially important for cars that sit idle for long periods of time; without a trickle charger, the battery can slowly lose charge as time passes and eventually stop working altogether. With a trickle charger, you can ensure that your car battery stays adequately charged and ready to use whenever you need it—no matter the weather!
NoCo makes an excellent trickle charger for just such a situation. It works on 6 volt and 12-volt batteries and its smart charging capabilities will ensure battery protection. You can find the NoCo Genius 5 at Amazon by clicking here.
Can Your Charge Your Car Battery in Cold Weather?
Yes, you can charge your battery in cold weather. However, it is important to take into consideration the temperature of the environment when charging batteries. Cold weather affects the performance of lead-acid batteries and requires a higher charge voltage than warm weather.
This is because cold temperatures increase electrical resistance and thicken engine oil, making the battery work harder. To keep your car battery charged during winter, plug in a charger when it is parked and allow your car to run for 15 minutes to help recharge its battery.
2. Park Your Car Away From the Wind
Yes, this sounds confusing. You want to know how to keep the battery charged in winter, not the direction in which you should park your car. But trust me, this has everything to do with it!
It’s safe to say that the temperature tends to drop significantly overnight, which is caused not just from the absence of the sun but because by the wind too. You hear it howling through your window, so you know that it’s cold out.
As we mentioned earlier, the cold tends to make your battery lose its charge. Keeping it away from the direction of the wind is more likely to protect it. If you have a garage, park your car inside to completely protect your car’s battery. However, if you don’t, you can always make sure that it’s facing away from the wind by parking it close to a wall that will stop the wind.
3. Turn Your Car Accessories Off Before Leaving Your Car
I have a really bad habit of leaving my car’s radio on full blast when I exit my car. Not only does this scare the living daylight out of me the next time I get into my car, but I’m also unknowingly draining my car’s battery.
Leaving your AC or radio turned off after your exit your car isn’t great for your car battery because it means that every time you go to turn your ignition, energy from the battery goes to try to power on any accessories you left on the last time you drove. If it’s an especially cold day, this can drain your battery even more.
4. Keep Your Battery Squeaky Clean
Okay, maybe not squeaky clean, but you know what I mean. The cleaner you keep your battery, the less chance it has at giving out on you. Cold temperatures tend to cause the oil in your car to thicken as well as increase electrical resistance. Therefore, your battery has to work that much harder to start up.
If there is a buildup of dirt or grime on your battery, it will cause even more resistance. You may also want to check and make sure that there isn’t any corrosion on your battery, which could also affect your battery’s charge.
Cleaning your car battery is actually much easier than it sounds. All you need is water, a rag, and a little baking soda. Once you’ve wiped it down nice and clean, you should be ready to go.
5. Check Your Battery ASAP
As someone who procrastinates over everything, I can understand why most people don’t bother to get their car batteries checked until it’s too late. But hindsight is 20/20. Don’t be like me. Learn from my mistakes and get your battery checked before it starts to get cold.
Old and weak batteries don’t stand a chance in extremely cold conditions. Our friends over at Your RV Lifestyle even list this as one of the reasons that your car battery keeps dying.
It might be a pain in the tush for an afternoon, but your future self will thank you. If your battery needs replacing, it’s better to do it before the winter comes and corrodes it even more. Trust me on this one; it’s worth the trip to the mechanic.
If/ when you do need to replace your battery, make sure you have one that can handle the cold winter temperatures. There are many selections that are possible, check out my best car batteries for winter guide to find the one that is best for you.
6. Drive it as Often as Possible
With the weather being as frigid as it is, I can’t blame you for wanting to spend your evenings cozied up in front of your TV. But if you want to make sure that your battery stays running all throughout winter, I suggest that you put on your warmest coat and drive it for at least ten minutes a day.
Keeping your battery moving will reduce its chances of giving out halfway through the winter months. And what’s worse, having your car battery die unexpectedly in the middle of a snowstorm or driving it a few minutes a day around your neighborhood?
Now there are exceptions to this of course. If you are in the middle of a snowstorm or blizzard you don’t want to be driving to keep your battery charged. Please be mindful of road conditions.
7. Your Car Battery Needs a Blankie Too
You may actually think that I’m kidding but believe me, this is the real deal. Keeping your car battery wrapped up in a thermal blanket will absolutely protect it from the cold. These blankets prevent corrosion on your car battery and, as we mentioned before, corrosion causes your battery to work harder.
Believe it or not, your car battery may actually have a protective covering already. If it’s a fairly new car and you haven’t had your battery replaced since you purchased it, chances are that it’s still there. If not, no worries. You can easily purchase a corrosion-resistant heat blanket for your battery at most auto parts stores.
When a car battery is charged all the way, it won’t freeze until it gets to -76°F. If it’s lacking a charge, however, it will freeze at around 32°F. This is also a reminder to make sure that you always have jumper cables in your car in case of an emergency.
Why Is My Car Battery Not Charging in Cold Weather?
Ah, cold weather… It’s the time of year when having a good car battery is essential. But what happens if your car’s battery stops charging? Could it be due to the drop in temperature? Here’s everything you need to know about why a car battery is not charging in cold weather.
The short answer is yes – cold weather can affect the performance of a car battery. Batteries rely on chemical reactions for energy, which are slowed down and less efficient in colder temperatures. This decreases the capacity of the battery, making it more difficult for it to hold a charge and to charge itself up again.
So, if you find that your car’s battery isn’t charging as efficiently in colder climates, it might be time to invest in a trickle charger specifically designed for winter use. Trickle chargers supply a slow but consistent flow of electricity to the car battery, ensuring that it stays charged instead of draining or eventually dying altogether.
All in all, cold weather can be hard on any kind of vehicle – batteries included! Investing in a trickle charger doesn’t just keep your car running during the winter months; it also helps protect and preserve your car battery so that it can be used for years to come.
Will a Car Battery Recharge if It Dies in Cold Weather?
Car batteries are complex pieces of technology, and they’re especially sensitive to cold weather conditions. So it’s no wonder that one of the most common questions about car batteries is this: will a car battery recharge if it dies in cold weather?
The simple answer is yes – car batteries can be recharged if they die in cold weather. However, it’s important to note that extreme cold temperatures may affect the performance of the car battery and make it more difficult to charge up again. This means that even if you successfully recharge your battery after it dies, you may experience decreased performance due to reduced capacity.
In addition, charging your battery in colder temperatures can put additional strain on the system and eventually cause permanent damage. That’s why it’s important to invest in a trickle charger specifically designed for winter use so you can keep your car battery charged up consistently regardless of the temperature outside.
So while car batteries can be recharged if they die in cold weather, doing so should always be done with caution and under close supervision from a qualified mechanic or technician. Taking these precautions will help ensure that your car continues to operate safely and reliably regardless of how chilly it gets outside!
As you can see, keeping your car’s battery charged during the winter is much more work than you expected it to be, isn’t it? It’s most certainly not what I was expecting, at least. But at least now you know the proper way to take care of it and can hopefully save yourself some grief.