There are so many reasons why your battery could give up on you: a parasitic draw, old age and self-discharge are just a few. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to manage your battery’s life. Let’s review how you can avoid disaster as the colder months come your way.
Assess the Age of Your Battery
If you aren’t sure of the last time your battery was changed, you should assess its age. Most batteries last anywhere between 5-10 years. To tell the age, find the heat stamp from the manufacturer located on the top or side when you are looking down at it.
The first 2 figures from the left represent the month and year it was made. The letter represents the month of the year manufactured: A=January, B=February, C=March and so on. The second digit is a number representing the year: 4=2004, 5=2005, 6=2006. For example, the heat stamp may say B6X78 if it’s from February 2006. Some may have a clear sticker that gives you the year and month (ideally all).
Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better
A bigger battery won’t necessarily get you through the colder months. In fact, it’s still at risk for many of the same problems. It’s better to have the right size battery recommended in the owner manual for a more harmonious connection. It also means the battery is more properly “seated” or a better fit in your engine block.
Clean Away Corrosion
Making sure to clean off corrosion from the battery is a must. If it’s leaking excessively, you may need a new one. Otherwise, keeping it clean makes for a better connection to the rest of your vehicle.
A Couple Tips
The more your battery dies, the harder it gets for it to recover. If you’ve noticed it dies often even after recently jumping it, you may want to get it changed. The combination of consistently falling below its threshold and being quickly charged with large amounts of juice ages your battery generously.
Additionally, if you’re storing your vehicle for a long time or won’t be driving for a couple days when you know there is a freeze, you can purchase a trickle charger or even a heat blanket for your battery if you’re parked close to a wall outlet.
Lastly, when starting your car, keep the radio and heat off as long as you can to allow it to recharge for a little bit.
Hopefully your battery’s healthy enough for the colder season, but if you’d like us to check it out along you’re your fluids, tires, brakes and engine, schedule a service with our experienced technicians. Keeping you safe this winter is our top priority!