Cold weather means dead car batteries
by Staff Writer
“When the temperature is below freezing, it only generates 60 percent of its current charge,” said Dusty Holcomb, AAA Carolinas vice-president of Automotive Services. “We always see a spike in requests for emergency road service when the temperature drops significantly.”
AAA Carolinas offers some tips to keep cars driving:
• Get your battery charge checked in the daytime before overnight temperatures fall and every time you have the vehicle serviced or oil changed.
• Keep the car in a garage overnight, if available.
• Turn off all accessories at night before turning the ignition switch off.
• Make sure battery case and brackets are free of corrosion.
• Check the tension and condition of your fan belt. If it is loose, it can affect the battery’s ability to recharge.
• Watch and listen for battery-drain 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 battery does not initially turn the engine over on the first try in the morning, turn the ignition key on and wait one minute before cranking the engine again. This gives the battery chemicals time to jell and energize the battery terminals.