It can be a sinking feeling when you get in your car in the morning and it is struggling to start. This becomes more and more common during the cold winter months, and in most cases it's an issue with the battery itself. Freezing temperatures put a lot of extra strain on the battery and cause it to drain faster. Therefore, it's important to do everything you can to keep your car battery healthy this winter season.
Here are a few winter car battery care tips from the auto repair specialists at Fox Run Auto in Bear, DE:
1. Park in Warmer Places
When you are leaving your car parked for any extended period of time (especially) overnight, try to keep it out of the snow, rain and wind whenever you can. Not everybody has a garage or covered parking space, but try to find a place where the vehicle isn't fully exposed to the elements. This will help preserve battery life, even if just a little.
2. Let the Car Warm Up
Even though most modern cars warm up really quickly, it's still a good idea to give it a few extra seconds before taking off. Also, wait a moment or two before turning on your electronic accessories. Don't crank up the heater right away and wait a second before turning on the windshield wipers.
3. Keep Your Battery Clean
Check your battery every couple weeks and make sure there is no dirt, grime or corrosion around the terminals. White powder is usually a bad sign, but it is not too hard to clean off with some baking soda, water and a toothbrush or damp cloth. If it looks really corroded, it could be the sign of bigger problems. In that case, you may want to have a mechanic look at it.
4. Keep a Full Charge
Make sure your battery is healthy and retains a full charge. Give it a jump start if needed or have it recharged at an auto care facility. If it struggles to hold a charge and is dying on you, it may be time to replace the battery.
5. Check Your Alternator
The alternator helps keep your battery recharging as you drive. If it isn't working properly, you will lose battery power and you may end up stranded. The rubber belts of the alternator can get weak in freezing weather and moisture can make them slip. Make sure the belts are tight and everything is functioning correctly to get the most out of your alternator.
6. Get a Professional Battery Check
Bring your car into Fox Run Auto or your local auto shop for a battery, alternator and auto electric system inspection. A professional mechanic can identify potential problems and recommend the necessary repairs or parts replacements if things aren't working right. It's better to be proactive about these kinds of things, rather than getting stranded with a dead battery on a cold winter day!
For all your car battery and auto electric care needs in Northern Delaware, call Fox Run Auto today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your automotive service appointment online.