Four simple ways to help your battery make it through a harsh winter

Fall’s rough transition into winter leaves many drivers stranded in garages, driveways, and parking lots due to a simple, unfortunate reality: car batteries like to be kept warm. Whether it’s through a warm climate or a constant stream of electricity, an energized battery is a happy battery. When a battery has to work harder to perform, such as in extremely cold temperatures, it tends to discharge faster. While there are a ton of articles online about why batteries tend to die more in the winter, we wanted to address several ways to take care of your batteries.

Examine your battery yourself

Pop open your hood and take a look at your battery. Do you notice any corrosion, leaks, or battery acid anywhere along the terminals? Carefully clean it away. Does your battery appear loose or misplaced? Get it checked out or re-seat the battery. Check any connections you see and make sure there are no loose or damaged wires. Not sure what to look for? Swing by the Quick Lane at Garnet Ford. We’ll take a look.

Give your battery a break

If you notice your car struggling to start and suspect it’s the battery that’s causing the issue, turn off or power down most electric/electronic systems. Turn off the lights, the heat, and unplug any powered accessories. It’s not guaranteed to make your car start more readily, but that small boost of electricity to the battery could be the difference between staying or going. You can always turn the electronics back on once the car starts.

Consider a block heater

For those who live or travel in extremely cold climates, a block heater that pre-heats an engine can make starting the car easier. Not only that, but it can also make the cabin warmer as the engine takes less time to warm up, and can aid in defogging the windshield earlier.

Thermal wraps — like blankets for your batteries

On an extremely cold night, there’s nothing better than being wrapped tightly in your favorite blanket. Your battery feels the same way! Several companies produce “thermal wraps” for batteries, which is a powered blanket that wraps around the car battery to ensure a smoother start up process. The theory behind this product is that it’s easier to make warm something that has been kept warm through insulation. Some battery blankets even offer their own built-in power cord to supply a constant stream of heat to the battery itself.

If you suspect your battery is on its way out, don’t delay in replacing it. The last thing you want is to be stranded somewhere during the long, cold nights ahead. Bring your vehicle (any make or model) to Quick Lane at Garnet Ford for a new battery and some extra peace of mind.