Charging a car battery can be quite tricky, considering the weather conditions that we usually encounter. Certain conditions are much suitable for charging a car battery. If you fail to consider these conditions, you might end up damaging your battery.
Therefore, we need to look at the effects of charging a battery in icy conditions. Does it have any harm on your battery or charger? All this information will be available in this fantastic piece of writing.
We aim at helping you get the best out of your battery. Replacement of batteries can be quite expensive, and thus, we need you to enjoy your battery's long life. I have several customers who came to me with questions on what might have happened to their batteries.
They are usually in pain because everyone has a tight budget, and sometimes the battery might fail to start a car when you are late for work or a meeting. We need to avoid these embarrassments by learning techniques to charge our batteries and the charge conditions.
Can you charge a car battery in cold weather?
I have been receiving many calls concerning this question, especially during the winter seasons. There is a misconception that batteries charge the same throughout the year. That is not true because batteries charge more effectively at warm temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius.
The case is usually different when it comes to cold seasons. The colder the conditions outside, the less charge the battery pack will want to accept. The chemical explanation of this issue is so simple, and we will look at it in detail.
When it is freezing, the electrolyte in a flooded car battery becomes jelly, and the battery's molecular action is slowing down. The battery is the same as a toothpaste tube; it is difficult to get out, and it is so difficult to put back in.
The vehicle might fool during cold conditions in the way it responds. The voltmeter located on the dashboard might display a correct range of charging, and the lights might be bright, making you assume that the battery is charging the usual way.
What usually happens is that the vehicle's alternator is at the correct voltage and is powering the vehicle loads. However, the battery is cold, meaning the battery's charge acceptance is very low, sometimes as low as two amps each hour. The amount of driving time required to charge a deeply discharged cold battery is at least 40 hours.
AGM batteries have a recharge capacity of up to 40 percent across all temperature ranges, but they still require more time in cold weather to recharge. The time that these batteries require to recharge is more than the time given in the driving laws.
It would be best if you remember these things when in cold weather:
- Never jumpstart a vehicle with frozen batteries. Jumpstarting can start the vehicle, but the battery will take a lot of time to recharge the battery pack.
- Batteries that have been discharged can freeze in cold weather.
- Cold batteries can take about 30 hours to reach room temperature conditions.
- Before cold batteries attain their deal temperature, they will not accept a regular charge unless you have ample charging time.
How cold is too cold for a car battery?
We all understand different types of cold conditions. The cold weather conditions you might be experiencing are just the tip of ice in other places. Therefore, you need to know the extreme cold conditions that might affect your battery.
Vehicle batteries are rated in CCA (Cold-Cranking Amperage). This is the current amount that a battery can provide for 30 sec at -18 C without a further drop to a specified cut-off voltage. A lead-acid battery with a full charge can withstand up to -50 C.
However, batteries with a low state of charge can freeze at a temperature of -1 C. this can lead to the expansion of water inside the battery, resulting in irreparable damage to the cells. Therefore, different batteries have different temperature conditions that can lead to freezing.
How do you keep your car battery alive through a long cold winter?
Winter is the coldest season of the year; thus, it can significantly affect our batteries' lifespan. Therefore, we need to know how to take good care of our batteries. We can do these by:
Drive For At Least 10 Minutes Each Day
Driving generates some heat that can keep the cold at bay. Even for a healthy battery, driving makes it remain strong for a long. However, you need to travel for a reasonable time and distance. The recommended drive time is at least 10 minutes, but it should be much longer than this.
The moment your car starting slowing down during start-up, then it is a sign that you need to go to a repair shop. Driving will never help to revive a dead battery.
Park Your Car In A Garage
Subjecting your car to overnight cold, mostly during winter, can damage the battery. Once the battery is frozen almost every day, its life will be significantly shortened. You can keep your car in; a garage, near heated equipment, close to warm buildings, spaces with direct sunlight, and anywhere that can be warmer than the shade.
A fully charged battery can withstand cold temperatures, but if the battery is half-charged, it can turn into a block of ice at -10 F overnight.
Cover The Battery In A Thermal Blanket
There are thermal wraps, also known as battery warmers, insulators, electric battery blankets, to reduce corrosion and increase the battery's warmth. These blankets will help you a lot, and they are available online or in stores.
After driving your car to warm the engine, park it well, then throw a dry, thick bath towel on the battery. The towel will help retain the heat generated by the engine. You must remove the bath towel before starting the engine again. Do not tear down the protective cover that is usually designed for the battery.
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