A battery is a device that stores electrical energy as chemical energy and provides it as electrical energy when needed. The main task of the battery, which is found in all internal combustion engines, is to send the electric current to the starter motor for the vehicle to start. In addition, the vehicle’s lighting and electronic outputs work depending on the battery. In other words, the battery is an energy element that functions for starting, lighting, and ignition.
Have you ever questioned why your battery dies in winter? Is it because of the cold weather or something else that kills your car’s battery? Does cold weather kill batteries? There is nothing more annoying than a dead battery when you want to drive the car, but you can’t due to the reason that kills the battery.
Batteries are dead mostly during winter, and everyone assumes that the cold weather kills the battery. The battery drains faster in cold weather. This is a huge expenditure of energy. The anti-fog system on the windows, the constantly running air conditioner, and the wipers can cause the battery to run faster.
In addition, the engine oil solidifies in the winter season and has difficulty providing the engine with the first movement. As a result, cold and hot weather causes the battery to run out more quickly. Since things like air conditioners work harder in hot weather, the battery consumes more energy.
How Cold Weather Kills Batteries
Since batteries work with a chemical reaction, they are affected by temperature. Cold weather conditions are also a factor that slows down the rate of chemical reactions. Due to the increased starting power required for the engine to start, the battery has more difficulty starting the vehicles in cold weather.
Also, the electrolyte liquid in the battery may freeze in extremely cold weather. If the battery does not work in cold weather, “Is the battery frozen?” The question may come to mind, but battery freezing does not occur at a normal temperature.
The battery freeze condition is valid when the battery is in a sulfation/discharge condition. A fully charged battery does not freeze up to -72 degrees. For example, if the electrolyte density in the battery is 1.100 gr/cm3, this battery starts to freeze at -8 degrees. If freezing is encountered, it is necessary to heat the battery from outside, add acid, etc. no action should be taken.
Which Temperature Kills Battery
Now, since we know the answer is yes to the question, “Does cold weather kill batteries? We may evaluate the details and the conditions. An air temperature of -50 °C or less is required for a fully charged battery to freeze.
However, discharged batteries may freeze even at 0 °C and below, depending on the intensity of the discharge amount. For this reason, the vehicle must be fully charged to protect the battery from cold weather. Using batteries in hot weather brings different results. The increase in starting power appears as a positive feature in the heat. However, the increase in corrosion may also increase depending on the temperature.
How to Protect Your Battery in Winter
Since the discharge amount of the batteries changes depending on the location’s temperature, it is also essential to store the batteries in closed areas. In addition, external factors such as precipitation and dust in open areas further increase the possibility of discharge in the batteries. Therefore, the battery should be stored in a dry and cool place.
However, as the temperature increases in storage, the number of discharges increases. Even in the case of a rise of 10 °C, the discharge amount can easily double. The ideal temperature for storing batteries is between 10-20 °C. In case of freezing of the batteries, first of all, the battery should be kept at room temperature for 12 hours so that the electrolyte regains its liquid form. After reaching room temperature, the battery must be recharged. To protect your battery from the cold weather, you should follow these steps:
- Make sure your battery is fully charged, especially in cold weather.
- Take your vehicle to the service center to check your battery’s charge level as part of pre-winter preparation.
- Even if you do not use your vehicle, run your vehicle periodically for the health of your battery.
- If possible, keep your vehicle in a closed garage or cover it with a tarpaulin during the winter seasons with minus degrees.
With a comprehensive explanation, we know that cold weather is the reason for the dead battery, and you can answer if someone asks, “Does cold weather kill batteries?”. It is necessary to keep the battery, the heart of our cars, as healthy as possible on cold winter days that are starting to show their effect gradually.
Batteries that are tired for a long time, regardless of whether new or old, can fail. With the decrease in air temperature in the winter months, a specific decrease can be seen in the performance of water-charged starter batteries.
Especially when the electrolyte temperature drops below zero degrees, freezing will occur in the form of water in it. Therefore, when we examine the temperature-dependent freezing curve of the electrolyte, there is a different relationship between the density value in the cells of the battery and the freezing temperature.
What needs to be done is to bring the battery to room temperature and wait for the freezing situation to dissolve in its natural state. The next thing to do is to charge the battery with “rectifier charging” if the battery has not been left in this way for too long.
If there is no permanent deformation of the plate structure, this battery can be used again. However, to avoid such a situation during the winter, it is essential to carry out the maintenance of the battery before the winter period.