Background Image: Car driving through streaming orange lights - side view
July 5, 2022

3 car battery maintenance tips for this winter

The coldest day in Australia was recorded in Charlotte Pass in New South Wales, when temperatures dropped to -23°C on June 29, 1994.

While these types of extreme lows are not commonplace across the country, over winter we certainly see some frosty and freezing days in areas.

After a long and hot summer, which can be damaging to batteries, colder weather can make for more inconvenience than scraping ice off your windscreen or waiting for the vehicle to heat up – it can cause battery failure.

Most battery changes happen during winter, when cold weather often proves to be too harsh for a weak battery. But with some simple maintenance, you can reduce the likelihood of battery failure and avoid bringing your plans to a sudden halt.

The importance of car battery maintenance over winter

The optimal temperature for a car battery is around 20°C, but temperatures can drop well below this in the winter months.

Colder weather slows the internal battery chemistry down, which leads to batteries losing a lot of their cranking power. The battery needs to work harder to get going while still supplying power for safety systems, defrosting windows, heating the car and more.

At times though, under the additional strain of cold weather the battery’s power output can get so low that it is unable to start the engine altogether.

So, what’s the best way to avoid unexpected breakdowns at this time of year? The answer is providing preventative maintenance.

Car battery maintenance tips for winter

1. Avoid only going on short drives

Each time you start your car engine this requires a considerable amount of power from your battery, particularly in harsh winter conditions. When you are driving, the alternator recharges your battery.

But if you consistently go on short trips the car battery may not have enough time to fully charge, especially if you have an older battery. Over time your battery can become depleted and discharged.

At least every few weeks, it is worth taking a longer trip to ensure the battery has sufficient time to be charged. If this is not possible though, a battery charger or maintainer can be used to charge the battery.

2. Check the battery for damage

Make time to check the condition of your battery regularly to ensure it is free from cracks, broken pieces, leaks, bulging or other signs of damage. It is also a good idea to inspect the terminals, screws, clamps and cables for loose connections.

If the battery is in poor condition it may need to be replaced.

3. Remove any corrosion, dirt or grime

It is important to maintain the cables and connections of your car battery. Ensure that they are clean, secure and in good shape to avoid hindering the performance of your battery. Download the battery manual for tips and tricks to remove any dirt and corrosion from terminals.

For hassle-free battery maintenance over the winter months, you can always drop into a Delkor® retailer near you for a quick and easy battery check. It is a simple but effective way to make sure your battery is still performing how it should, so you can get on top of any issues early and be on your way with confidence.