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Don't get stranded this winter. CAA has your battery worries covered.

Guest Contributor November 09, 2015
Stranded driver holding a phone with car in background during winter.
When we check our magic snow globe, we can confidently make this seasonal prediction: thousands of drivers will find themselves stranded in the dead of winter thanks to a dead battery. But when you understand what keeps your battery cranking, you can avoid being left out in the cold.

Get your battery checked before the temperatures drop.

As air cools, the oil in your car thickens. Parts move more slowly and it requires more energy for your battery to turn over and start the engine. A battery loses a third of its power in freezing weather. If the temperature drops to zero or below, your battery has only half its power.

To keep your battery operating reliably in any season, have a CAA Battery Service Representative clean battery cables and check that the charging system is charging at the correct rate. This will help keep it up and running, even in the coldest weather.

Use a block heater to warm up your engine.

One way to protect your battery from the cold is to use a block heater. Pre-warming your engine reduces winter wear and tear on your battery and starter, and also reduces emissions and increases fuel economy.

What do you do if your battery has been exposed to very cold weather? A fully charged battery will not freeze unless the temperature drops very low. If it does freeze, it destroys the lead coating and the battery cannot charge. If the sides of your battery seem to bow out, this is a sign the battery is frozen. Never try to boost a frozen battery because it can explode. Call CAA for help.

A battery charger will keep your car running.

If you’re a snowbird who winters in the sun and leaves the car behind, your battery may be allowed to discharge completely a few times. If this happens, you will end up replacing your battery because the lead coating on the battery’s internal plates will fail – -and so will the battery. Use a battery tender to keep the battery charged during periods you are not driving your vehicle.

No matter what precautions you take, your battery will probably be reliable for about 3 to 5 years. An aging battery increases the odds that you could spend some unscheduled time in your driveway or parking lot, but there’s good news!

If you do have battery problems, CAA can help. CAA Battery Service Representatives come to you wherever you are. They can test your charging system and, if required, install a CAA Premium battery right on the spot. CAA Premium batteries meet or exceed OEM (original equipment manufacturer) standards while keeping Members worry-free when driving. Not only is the CAA Premium battery conveniently delivered and installed for you, it comes with Member-exclusive pricing and a 72-month limited warranty, with free replacement for 36 months against factory defects plus an additional 36-month prorated limited replacement warranty.

Click here to learn more about the CAA Battery Service and drive safe this winter!