Automotive

Published on November 12th, 2018 | by Lisa Boynton

Will Your Car Battery Make It Through the Winter?

2018 has been yet another year for extreme weather. The heat event on Canada Day was one of the hottest on record. And remember the subzero temperatures we endured in January? We’re guessing there are a lot of people who’d like to forget that deep freeze!

It’s therefore not surprising that since 2016, battery-related calls to CAA have gone up significantly across South Central Ontario.

One of the main reasons? The extreme temperatures of both summer and winter really take a toll on car batteries.

That’s why we’re encouraging all drivers to get your car battery tested BEFORE winter descends to avoid an unexpected battery failure.

It’s a pretty quick check, too. When you’re getting winter tires put on, why not ask your mechanic to check and see if your battery will make it through the winter?

Want some tips on how to stay on top of what’s happening with your battery? 

Battery Preventive Maintenance.

  • Swap out your old one – Most batteries last between three to five years. If yours is getting long in the tooth, replace it before wintertime.
  • Keep corrosion at bay – The white or blue powder that appears on your battery terminals is corrosion, which can prevent a car from starting. Inspect your battery and carefully clean away any residue that you find.
  • Install a battery blanket – These handy devices, which need to be plugged into an outlet, bathe your battery in heat. That stops the fluids inside from freezing. You can also install a trickle charger, which does virtually the same thing.
  • Turn off your accessories – Don’t start the car with the heater and radio on. They can use up the power coming from the vehicle’s alternator and prevent the battery from charging.
  • Disconnect your battery – If your car is going to sit idle for an extended period, unplug your battery. Some devices, like clocks and alarm systems, use power when the car is off. Left long enough, they can drain the battery.

Want to Leave It to the Pros?

Battery checks can range from $30 to $50 at automotive facilities across Ontario. If you’re a CAA Member you can call for a battery check wherever you are through our CAA Battery Assist program. The battery check will count as one of your service calls.

Need a boost? Give us a Call. 

Here’s why: Boosting your car incorrectly may cause damaging current spikes or surges to your vehicle’s electrical systems. Additionally, incorrectly connecting your booster cables can also cause severe harm. While the battery itself may sustain damage, it is replaceable. Your car’s computers are not!

Worse, a battery has the potential to explode when boosted due to the hydrogen gas it emits. The corrosive acid inside can severely burn your skin and eyes if it touches you.  Better safe than sorry.

Remember, we’re available, 24/7. Call CAA’s Roadside Assistance at: 1-800-268-3750 and we’ll be there to help.


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