Why Your Battery Has to Work Hard in Winter

Why Does The Cold Make Batteries Work Harder?

When your truck's battery dies, it's nor replaced as easily as the ones in your flashlight. Add to that the prospect of waiting in cold, snowy weather for road assistance to arrive and you have two compelling reasons for giving the battery a little TLC.

Batteries power more than just your truck

The traditional lifespan of an automotive battery has been three to five years. While technology has enhanced most areas of our lives, it's actually been a drawback here. Smartphones and other electronic devices plugged into a vehicle's electrical system are a further drain on battery life. In addition, even when a vehicle is turned off it continues to supply energy to clocks, anti-theft devices and other extras.

Effects of cold weather on your truck's battery

While heat is more damaging to batteries, cold weather creates more of a strain. Starting the engine in frigid conditions requires as much as twice the current needed under normal conditions. AAA's Automotive Research Center reports that at temperatures of 32F a battery loses 35 percent of its power and up to 60 percent at 0F.

What are the signs of a failing battery?

  • Turning the ignition triggers a grinding or clicking sound
  • Headlights grow dim while the engine idles but brighten when the engine is revved
  • Your truck cranks slowly on start-up

If the battery is more than three years old, it's likely to be on its last legs even if your truck doesn't experience any of these symptoms.

Caring for your truck battery

  • Have your battery inspected and cleaned on a regular schedule to extend its life
  • Check battery cables and make sure they have a secure connection to the terminals and they're free of corrosion

Look to TruckertoTrucker.com for useful news and tips any time of the year. Be sure to bookmark our blog for quick access.

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