Crystal Lake and Barrington Auto Repair

Your battery needs a jump start on winter

The two coldest months of winter - January and February - are closing in on us.

Is your car’s battery ready?

Even a new battery loses a third of its power when it’s below freezing outside, and half its power when the temperature drops below zero.

That’s why it’s important to make sure your battery - the most important part of your vehicle’s electrical system - has all the power it needs to get your car started.

If it’s more than 2 or 3 years old, you should have your battery, cables, connectors and fasteners checked by a trusted mechanic to determine if it needs to be replaced. The cables could be corroded, which isn’t always visible, or they could be loose. If you check them yourself, always do this with the engine off.

Your cables should have a tight fit. If they slide off the battery posts when slightly pulled, they’re not properly attached, and your car could end up inconveniently dying on you.

Even if your battery cables are connected well, your car still may not start if the cable terminals (clamps) are corroded. Look for a whitish powdery substance where the terminals connect the cables to the battery posts. This is sulfuric acid and hydrogen crystals that form from the battery’s gas. Because it’s acidic, don’t touch or get this on your clothing. If need be, you can brush it off with an old wire brush.

If you need a new battery, check your owner’s manual to make sure you use the proper type and size for your vehicle.


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