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How Does Cold Weather Impact a Car's Battery? February 7, 2019

How Does Cold Weather Impact a Car's Battery?, ,

With polar vortexes and freezing temperatures dominating recent headlines, there’s no denying the way that winter weather can disrupt your daily routine. Freezing temperatures can also impact vehicle performance, especially when it comes to sensitive components like car batteries. Here’s a closer look at how cold weather could affect your battery.

Cold Weather & Your Battery

car batteriesAs temperatures drop, car batteries lose strength. They can’t produce the current needed to stay at full power, which reduces their reserves. At 32 degrees, a battery can lose as much as 35% of its normal strength. By the time temperatures drop to 0, the battery will be at 60% below normal operating strength.

If a battery is already dying, cold weather will likely be enough to kill it, leaving you unable to start your vehicle.

Be Prepared

The best way to avoid becoming unexpectedly stranded is to test your battery before freezing temperatures arrive. Most car batteries have an expected life span of three to five years. The local climate and even your driving habits can also impact its longevity. Be proactive in testing and replacing your battery if it’s getting old.

Many drivers in cold-weather areas will use plug-in engine warmers or battery heaters to keep the car battery at a warmer temperature overnight when the car isn’t in use. This way, it will have more current available in the morning. Parking inside a garage instead of outside can also provide some extra protection from the cold.


Whether you’re looking for new car batteries or replacement brakes, make Smyth Automotive your first stop. With 24 locations over Ohio and Kentucky, their wide selection of aftermarket car parts makes it easy to keep your vehicle in top condition. Learn more about their inventory by visiting them online or calling (513) 528-2800. For more tips and tricks, tune into Smyth Automotive's podcasts for all devices. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter for more posts and information.