If you fail to take preventive measures, starting your car on a cold winter morning can be a challenge. In most cases, a dead battery is to blame. Why are car batteries more susceptible to this issue? This is due to the battery's ability to turn chemical energy into electrical energy with minimal heat generation, and the limited amount of thermal energy available at low temperatures.
Temperature has a significant impact on the performance of your battery.
Most car batteries have an average lifespan of three years and a cold winter can distinguish good batteries from the bad ones. A typical lead-acid battery contains lead plates immersed in electrolyte liquid that produces an electrochemical reaction, charging the battery terminals.
Heat accelerates the chemical activity but also internal cell corrosion, reducing the lifespan of the battery. This is particularly true for batteries that are frequently subjected to high internal temperatures.
Once capacity is damaged by heat, it cannot be restored. On the other hand, cold temperatures slow down chemical reactions, which are why a battery may appear sluggish in winter, even if its state of charge remains unchanged.
The battery’s ability to provide enough power to start and run a vehicle is reduced in colder temperatures. The measurement unit for automotive batteries is called Cold-Cranking Amperage (CCA), which is the amount of current a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at -18°C without dropping to a cut-off voltage.
A fully charged lead-acid battery can withstand temperatures as low as -50°C, but a battery in a low state of charge can freeze at -1°C, causing the chemicals in the battery to expand and damage the cells permanently.
Learn how to care for your four-wheeler battery?
- After three years of installation, it is recommended that four-wheeler owners start paying close attention to their batteries. If your battery starts to fail, the first sign is likely to be slow starting of the four-wheeler, which is a significant warning sign that should not be overlooked.
- If you hear sluggish sounds when starting your car, do not automatically assume that the battery needs to be replaced. Ensure that the battery connections are secure and that no wires are broken or disconnected. Additionally, make sure your terminals are clean and have them cleaned at any time during a major service by asking your mechanic.
- Remove any caps from your battery and check that the fluid level inside is about 5mm above the plates, or between the levels indicated on the battery case. Top up with deionised water if needed, but avoid overfilling.
The inefficiency of electric vehicles to quickly heat up their batteries after extremely cold winter nights is due to the high efficiency of the electric motor and the fact that it doesn't require the production of thermal energy to convert to mechanical energy.
You can visit the nearest Tesla Power Shop to buy a four wheeler battery at the best price and also get the highest exchange price of your old battery (any brand, any make).