Close up of a car battery being charged

Is cold weather bad for your battery performance?

As temperatures drop, you may notice some parts of your car are working much less efficiently than you’d become used to throughout the summer months. Gone are the days of jumping in and enjoying a trip in the sun with the windows down and you’re now in for cold trips with the heaters on full blast. In this instance, the last thing you’re going to want is your battery failing on you and making none of this possible.

Batteries alone aren’t worth much as scrap – as we’ve detailed in a separate post here – so let Scrap Car Comparison guide you through just how bad the cold can be for your battery, and how to avoid these issues in the first place.

If your car has much bigger problems than a dodgy battery, then it might be easier for you to simply cut your losses and get rid of the entire thing. By using Scrap Car Comparison, you’re embarking on the simplest and quickest route to the best price – with a nationwide network of specialists at our fingertips, we’ll scour the market to ensure you get an unbeatable quote, and we’ll even throw in a collection at no cost to you. All it takes is one phone call to our friendly team and your car will be a problem of the past in a matter of days.

Does Cold Weather Affect Car Battery?

While the battery may look like a magic box that just makes things go, it’s actually home to a chemical process which produces the charge to give your car’s internal gubbins a kick. As the cold sets in, these processes slow down, reducing your battery’s ability to hold its charge. This can be particularly important for those who only ever drive short trips, as your car won’t be charging the battery in the same way it does on longer journeys, increasing the likelihood of it going flat.

Why won’t my car start when the temperature drops?

A battery is the most likely culprit if your car doesn’t want to start on a cold morning – and who can blame it, you probably didn’t want to get out of bed, either. If you can hear a whining noise but the starter motor fails to turn over, then it’s more than likely a flat battery. If your battery has completely drained, however, you won’t hear a thing. Nor will you see anything as the lights on your dashboard won’t even illuminate – that’s if you’ve even managed to get into it as chances are the remote central locking won’t work either.

How to tell if your battery is flat

The first sign of a battery running flat is difficulty getting started. Starting your car is one of the biggest power drains it’ll go through so naturally it has the biggest ask of your battery. If there’s a sub-optimal amount of juice left, then this is going to be quite a chore. If you’ve noticed this, then this is something you’ll need to fix incredibly quickly, as you usually only get one or two warnings before the battery completely goes.

You may also notice some of your electrical components not working at their best, such as lights, heaters and even electric windows. If these are dimmer, less powerful or slower than usual, then they are all telltale signs that your battery is struggling. Finally, and the most obvious clue, is a battery warning light appearing on your dashboard.

How to keep car battery warm in winter

It’s not just you that needs to wrap up warm in the winter, and your battery will certainly appreciate a little bit of TLC once the cold sets in. The easiest way to keep it warm is by simply driving it regularly. Engines produce heat, so you’ll be warming your battery as you drive while also recharging it – just make sure the drive is at least 30 minutes long to get the best benefit.

It will also pay dividends to avoid putting too much strain on your battery as you drive along. This means no blasting of the radio while the heaters and heated seats make you feel like you’re in a sauna, at least not straight away. Let the car warm up a little first before cranking everything up, as doing this as soon as the engine starts will be putting even more strain on an already struggling battery.

Finally, think about where you park. If you can, parking inside and out of the biting winds of winter nights is a simple way to keep your battery warm overnight. If you’re not lucky enough to have a garage or even car port, then just being smart about the direction in which you park could be enough. Keeping your bonnet out of the wind can reduce the impact of colder temperatures and make starting the next morning a little easier.

How to prevent flat battery in cold temperatures

Although the majority of this is very similar to what we just suggested about keeping your battery warm, there are a couple of other ways you can ensure that your battery doesn’t go flat over the winter. The first is to invest in a trickle charger. These devices do exactly what they say on the tin, and by plugging one in overnight, you can be safe in the knowledge that the next morning your battery won’t have given up on you.

Another way to ensure that your battery doesn’t go flat is to make sure you’re not wasting the power yourself by not turning everything off. Check all the lights, the radio, anything that might be draining the juice. Something as simple as not closing a door properly and leaving the internal light on can drain a battery to the point it no longer works.

It’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to scrap a car just because your battery has gone flat, but it could be the sign of bigger problems yet to be uncovered. If this is the case with your car and you’re now looking at repair bills that you’ll never be able to afford, then Scrap Car Comparison is here to help.

We have a team of experts waiting on the line to ensure you get only the very best price for your car, and what’s more, with collection agents operating across 99% of the country, we’ll even be able to provide you with free collection, so get started today by either calling our phone line on 03333 44 99 50 or by using our instant quote generator and your car will be a problem of the past.

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