How to protect your car battery in winter

Do you ever find your car reluctant to start up on a cold morning? Let’s have a look at a few things you can do to protect your battery from conking out in the cold.

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Batteries & winter

Winter is hard for cars because the whole idea of the modern vehicle is to use combustion by igniting petrol and using the fumes to power the drivetrain.

In the colder months, the battery that starts and powers the electrics of the car has to do more work to get an engine firing initially to suck in air and petrol so you can start driving – so it’s easy to see why batteries tend to give up in winter.

Australian winters are mild compared to some places in America and Europe, Queensland especially cops it pretty easy – but single digit temperatures aren’t unheard of, and if your car is used to tropical weather all year round, it might be shocked when the cold finally sets in.

Check the expiration date

Modern car batteries are pretty durable, but they also have to power a lot more than they used to. Most cars now have a whole range of powered accessories, certainly more than the headlights, radio and heater that were the standard equipment of days gone by.

Most batteries are designed to last at least a couple of years, and reputable manufacturers will guarantee this with a warranty.

If you’re finding your car is starting to need a jump-start to get it going, check how long it’s been under the hood – if it’s less than three years and you don’t usually run a lot of accessories off the battery, check with the manufacturer or ring up your service department to see what could be causing it.

Keep it charged

Cars are made to be driven, leave them sitting for too long isn’t recommended or encouraged. Batteries, specifically, need to be used or else they’ll just go flat.

So if your leaving your car for more than a week, and especially if you’re leaving it stored for longer – maybe you’re moving for work or off on a big holiday – think about taking the battery out of your car and charging it fully before you put it back in when you’re ready to get back on the road.

If you’re constantly running a lot of electrical accessories out of your car, investing in a battery charger will be a lot more economical than having to buy a new battery every eighteen months.

Check the rest of your car

The other parts of the car are just as essential, and it’s important to keep everything running smoothly so you don’t put any extra stress on the battery.

Check that your heating and cooling system is well maintained, and that major electrical equipment like the in-cabin and signal lighting, multimedia system and power accessories (like windows or mirrors) are all functioning normally.

If you haven’t had your car checked out lately, the service teams at Motorama see over 30,000 cars a year; so the expert technicians are pretty knowledgeable about keeping your car running right, and our service advisors are more than happy to hop in the passenger seat while your driving so you can point out that noise or rattle that only happens on the move.