Cold weather battery tips

Updated Jan 15, 2014

Interstate Batteries says cold weather affects batteries more than any other engine component.

Because they are filled with fluid containing mostly water, batteries are susceptible to freezing when not fully charged. Additionally, Interstate says cold weather thickens engine oil, forcing batteries to work harder when starting an engine.

Here are several tips Interstate gives to maintaining a battery in cold weather:

  1. Have a vehicle’s starting and charging system periodically tested.
  2. Use a battery charger to maintain charge levels and keep the battery in good condition. (Note: If the battery is more than three years old, have it tested more frequently.)
  3. Inspect the battery cables, posts and fasteners 
  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.
  6. Avoid damage to the battery and keep connections tight.