AAA Advice about cold batteries

MASSACHUSETTS – With below freezing temperatures upon us, batteries need to be in good operating condition to start vehicle engines, according to AAA Southern New England.

“When the temperature is below freezing, a battery only generates 60 percent of its current charge,” said John Paul, AAA Southern New England Manager of Traffic Safety. “We always see a spike in requests for AAA roadside assistance when the temperature drops significantly.”

Paul also warns that batteries may not always give warning signs before they fail, and have an average lifespan between 3 and 5 years.

Here are some helpful, cold weather tips from AAA Southern New England:

  1. Get your battery checked before overnight temperatures fall. In addition when the car is in for service or the oil changed, this is a great opportunity to have the battery checked.

  2. Keep the car in a garage overnight, if available.

  3. Turn off all accessories at night before turning the ignition switch off.

  4. Make sure battery case, brackets and connections are free of corrosion.

  5. Check the tension and condition of your vehicle drive belt. If it is loose, it can affect the battery’s ability to recharge.

  6. Watch and listen for low battery warning signs. If headlights dim when idling but brighten when you rev the engine it could signal an electrical system problem. If you hear a grinding or clicking when you turn the ignition to the crank position, your battery may be weak.

If your vehicle needed a jumpstart to get going, that didn’t fix the problem, it only fixed the symptom of a weak battery.

If there is any question, have the battery tested and replaced if necessary.


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