When the temperatures dip below zero, my auto repair shop starts receiving early morning SOS calls that sound something like this, “Auto Craftsmen? Help! My car is stranded in my driveway and it won’t start! I need to get to work, what do I do?”
Most people immediately blame the battery.
YES, it could be the battery….
BUT, it’s important to rule out the following before you spend time and money on a new one:
- Is there corrosion around the terminal connections that is preventing a good connection?
- Did you leave the light on and the battery was drained, and just needs to be re-charged?
- Is the electrical system operating efficiently?
- Is the real culprit the alternator?
- OR, is the problem with the starter?
The Battery Council explains the following;
- At 32 degrees fahrenheit, a fully-charged battery has only 65 percent of its available power.
- When the thermometer reads zero outside, available power drops to 40 percent
- At -32 F it offers a mere 25 percent of its available power.
You likely know that automotive batteries don’t last forever. Batteries have a life of about 3 to 5 years depending on the grade of the battery. My personal recommendation is to get an INTERSTATE BATTERY.
You CAN change your car’s battery.
You won’t need specialized tools to change the battery. You’ll only need a decent wrench, latex gloves, rags and goggles. And, if your car is like most, you’ll need your sheepskin hat and gloves, because the battery will have died in frigid temps and you don't want to get frostbite while changing the battery.
BUT, To safely change the battery in your car, you need to understand what you are doing.
If you do it wrong, you could cause irreversible damage to yourself & your car.
I suggest you watch some ‘youtube videos’, read your owners manual, get someone who knows what they are doing to help you or take it to your repair shop of choice.
Don’t wait until the battery leaves you stranded… have it tested the next time you bring your vehicle in for any type of service or repair.