Car batteries work efficiently in warm weather as you all know. But they need to be powered up in cold weather. Cold weather decreases the battery efficiency by affecting the internal chemical process besides fuel structure, carburetors, etc, disabling the car. The same can sometimes happen in warm weather too if the car is not driven for a long duration, as an unused battery tends to get discharged. So, if your car fails to start, the most common reason is a discharged/compromised battery.
The most common indication for a discharged battery is a whining sound when you turn the key in the ignition. If the battery is completely depleted, you may not hear any sound at all. However, you can easily tackle this issue by paying attention to a few things. Here are a few tips to help you out.
- Before turning off the engine at the end of any travel, remember to switch off all the power-consuming load of your car. Or else the audio system, navigation, headlamps, wiper blades, accessories, and all auxiliary units may drain your car battery on a cold day. In short, everything should be switched off before turning on the ignition.
- You can’t control the climate but you can certainly nurture good habits to combat battery discharge. It is a fact that battery with 100% ability in summer will be half as efficient in winter and also an older battery with less effectiveness will provide lower energy in winter than a new one. Try to increase the efficiency of the battery by parking your car in a closed garage to keep it warm. If you don’t have a garage then cover it or park the car in any sheltered spot facing east.
- You should regularly clean the battery by removing the corrosion on it. Use a brush to clean each cable and terminal. Then after taking out the negative and positive cable, apply baking soda solution to the corroded portions. Wipe away the baking soda after some time with a cloth. Finally, spray corrosion protection on each part and reconnect the cable.
- You have to ensure battery efficiency by testing regularly with the help of a digital multimeter in case the battery is more than 3 years old. This will help you decide whether the battery needs to be replaced or recharged. If you use the car very frequently in winter then charge it at least once a week to keep it warm.
- You need to consider an oil change in winter by switching to less viscous and thinner oil.