An average battery can last as long as 5 years. However, entering a snow covered truck or car only to find out that its battery is dead, can be a frustrating experience. Things like this happen to most people, but why does this mostly happen during the winter season? Let us find out.
Your Car’s Battery Has a Life
If you have been a car owner for a long while, you will be well aware that most car batteries contain lead acid, as they are quite dependable and cost-friendly. Lead acid batteries have a plastic case housing that contains lead plates dipped in a mix of sulfuric acid and water.
Contrary to popular belief, the lead acid battery itself does not produce the charge. Instead, it acquires and stores the initial charge with the help of a chemical reaction that occurs between the electrolyte and the lead plates of the cell. As the chemical reaction takes place, the negative and positive lead plats accumulate a lead sulfate coating. This process is also referred to as sulfation. Sulfation diminishes the battery’s power to charge the engine.
To make matters worse, lead acid batteries also lose their charge with the passage of time – a process known as self-discharge. If you leave your battery for too long without charging it, it could lose its power beyond repair.
Why do Most Car Batteries die in winter?
Excessive cold or heat can expand a battery’s discharge rate. Cold weather will especially pose a massive threat for your battery. Over exposure to the scorching heat of the summer vaporizes the water and increases sulfation. So, when winter comes around the chemical reactions occurring in the lead acid battery become slower due to the freezing temperatures. This reduces your car battery’s capacity to perform even further.
To make things even more difficult, sluggish oil and cold engine require extra power. Meanwhile power heavy features such as defrost and heat place extra strain on your battery. While most lead acid batteries can last for three to four years on average, the wrong conditions could drain them a lot sooner.
Common Signs of Battery Failure during winter
In many cases, batteries tend to fail before a warning sign. However, there are some telltale signs that can help you determine whether your battery is about to fail.
– Smell of rotten eggs or sulfur
– Cracked or swollen battery case
– Dim Dome Lights
– The head lights become yellow rather than white
– The car’s horn does not sound the same
– Failure in any of the car’s issues
Extreme weather can be very uncertain and unpleasant for your car, especially its battery. Make sure that your battery is in tiptop condition by getting a professional service to check it. If you live in Cottage Grove and Maplewood, the auto repair professionals at Calson Auto have been servicing car batteries for many years, and can resolve your battery’s problems.