We have four seasons in a year, and a lot of things might happen in your car throughout it. It is essential that we know about what to do when something happens with the car batteries or the engine itself.
I know that it is cold. But, aside from you shivering in the cold during winter months, there’s also another question for car owners: Can a car battery freeze?
It is a tricky question, isn’t it? A group of people that I met the other week asked me, “Is it true that car battery freezes in the cold weather?”
And my answer is yes, it can. According to a technical services manager from Interstate Batteries, Kimbrough, a very high temperature (unusually cold temperature) can immediately freeze even a fully-charged battery.
Aside from it, a car battery that has dropped its voltage for some reason like defective cells and extremely poor connection on the terminals can also start freezing at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
What Makes A Car Battery To Freeze During Winter?
It is an annoying experience when you are about to go to the grocery and use your car only to find out the car battery is frozen – even if the vehicle is inside the garage and not catching any drop of snow.
But whatever the reason of us is getting annoyed, it is inevitable as the temperature went up to the negative – even if your car is parked inside your garage, as long as it is colder than the usual, you will likely to experience the same scenario.
It is not a myth that car batteries freeze during winter. It is true, especially if you don’t know how to take care of your car batteries.
A high level of cold temperature can affect electro-chemical based charges happen that there might not be enough voltage to start the vehicle.
When it is true that car batteries freeze, it also happens in too extreme cold conditions only – not all the time. It needs to be really cold outside for that to happen with the battery.
A regular and healthy car battery can endure until 70+ degrees below 0 which are undeniably cold. There are only a few places in the US where it has that temperature, but with those few places, it is possible.
What Do You Need To Do If Your Car Battery Is Frozen?
Have you experienced that you were still driving last night using the same car but when you wake up the next morning, it is no longer working? How do you deal with it?
The first thing that you need to do if you think your battery might be frozen from the cold temperature is to check the outer case.
If the outer case has cracks, you will need to bring it to the nearest battery and to get a possible replacement. Most often than not, on situations like this, a battery is already damaged inside, and an alternative is the only solution to fix the problem.
If the case has no cracks or any damages outside, you can try to store the battery in a temperate location where it will eventually thaw on its own.
Thawing the battery should be a natural process, and you cannot pour water on it to fast forward the process. It could damage the insides of the battery.
After the thawing process, you can try to connect the cables and re-install it on the car. The lights and other electrical accessories on your car work fine after being thawed.
If they did not function the way they supposed to be, then, by all means, take the car battery to a professional one and bring your warranty card as they need to repair or replace it as well.
If in any case, your battery was able to start your car, there is a possibility that it is has been discharged only and it is better if you can plug it on a battery charger that has at least 12.6 volts depending on the battery charging requirement based on the battery types or the manufacturer.
How Can You Keep Your Battery From Freezing?
It is always important to clean the battery cables and terminals before we approach the colder season. You can only do it by detaching the car battery from the terminals and cleaning it with a terminal cleaner and brush then finishing it with a dry rag.
You need to make sure that there will be no corroded cables or any sign of corrosion in the area because this will result in a much-complicated problem. Once done cleaning, you can put it back and secure that there are no loose cables.
After doing so, you also need to bring your car to your trusted auto shop or to a mechanic whom you know for so long and someone that can work well with your vehicle.
It is not only the battery that can affect the performance of your car, so to be on the safe side, you also need to have a regular checkup with the mechanic to check the alternator if all the diodes are still functioning correctly.
If one of the diodes is defective, it can affect the charging capacity of the battery, thus resulting in a fast-draining battery. These types of battery have more possibility to encounter freezing than the fully charged ones.
This is the reason why it is also essential to fully-charged the battery before putting it into a storage place once the winter strikes or to keep a battery charger just in case that you need throughout the season, and to make sure that it is in a place where it has a leveled temperature – not too cold and not too hot.
Also, make sure that your battery isn’t that old yet or doesn’t really need a replacement. It is only every 2-3 years that your battery needs to be replaced so take note of how long you have been using your batteries.
New batteries are much easier to charge and will surely not give you too many headaches while the cold season is with us.
In any case that the battery still fails even if it’s still new, then you have to check with the engine as a whole to see if there is something wrong with the electrical system.
How Do You Jumpstart A Car Battery That Is Frozen?
It is a common thing to find out that your battery is not working correctly during the cold winter months. If that happens, you can try to jump-start your car to see if it will work that way.
To jump-start your car, you need a jumper cable and another car to burn the energy in your car’s battery.
You have to connect both ends of one side of the jumper cable to the car battery, and the other end goes to the other car’s battery where you will get the energy from.
Can a car battery freeze? The answer is yes. A car that has been out in the snow for a day can actually experience its battery freezing just because of the temperature.
Even if the vehicle is inside the garage and the temperature arises into more than -70+ degree Fahrenheit, you can experience it freezing.
There are ways to save the car battery after being frozen.
First, you need to check if it has been broken or damaged outside. If it is, you need to have it checked by a professional before testing it into a car.
Most likely, a car battery that has been frozen and had a damaged outer-case needs to be replaced immediately. You have to bring it to the nearest auto shop or battery retailer to have it check. Don’t forget to bring your warranty card!
Next, if it has no sign of damage on the outer case, then, you just need to complete the thawing process. You can store it in a much drier or warmer place. Once done thawing, you can connect it to your car and try to start the engine using the battery.
If it does start the car’s engine, you have to make sure that the battery gets fully charged. You also need to have it checked by a professional to make sure that there are no hidden damages that may result to a more serious problem later on.
In order to prevent this from happening, you need to make sure that the car battery is fully charged before winter comes and your car has done with its regular checkup with the mechanic. Still, it is prevention that is better than a cure.
Likewise, a well-maintained battery is better than a replacement. It saves you money and time going back and forth to the mechanic.
You can check steps on how to store your car battery during the winter season and what is needed in order to keep the car battery fully charged and away from these kinds of problems.