Interstate Battery offers cold weather cranking tips

Did you know cold weather affects auto batteries more than any other engine component?

During extreme winter weather conditions, Interstate Batteries encourages motorists to protect and care for that part of the vehicle a driver depends on most every day.

Filled with fluid containing mostly water, batteries are susceptible to freezing when the battery is not fully charged. Additionally, cold weather thickens engine oil, forcing the battery to work harder when starting the car. Your vehicle’s battery loses approximately 35 percent of its efficiency when the temperature dips below freezing and close to 60 percent of its efficiency when the temperature falls below zero.

The more electrical devices in the car – such as electronic fuel injection systems, electric windows, sun roofs and audio systems – the more power the battery should have. If the car will be exposed to extreme cold, the best guarantee against failure is a battery with a high charge level and adequate cold cranking amps, 500-700, depending on the type of engine in your vehicle.

Interstate Batteries engineering services manager Gale Kimbrough, also known as “Mr. Battery,” recommends you take special precautions with your vehicle battery this winter:

1. Have the vehicle’s starting and charging system tested every three months or every oil change.

2. Use a battery charger to maintain charge levels and keep the battery in good condition.

3. Inspect the battery cables, posts and fasteners. Cable corrosion prevents power from flowing freely from the battery, reducing the power available to start the car.

4. Clean the battery terminals with a wire brush or battery cleaner spray.

5. When possible, keep the vehicle in a garage overnight or plugged in, especially in areas with extremely harsh winter conditions. If garage storage is not possible, invest in a battery heater.

6. If the battery is not a sealed model, check the fluid levels, using distilled water to fill any cells that appear low.

Drop your old batteries to be recycled at certified recycling locations, including any Interstate Batteries or Interstate All Battery Center retail store.