Mythbusting: Automotive non-starts

Written by: Randy Anderson, National Technical Sales & Training Manager

Many of us are experiencing these deep freeze conditions and problems with our cars starting, it’s common to hear people say that the cold weather has ruined their battery. Today, I'd like to bust that myth.

Contrary to popular belief, batteries actually store better and last longer in cooler conditions and climates than they do in hot climates, very much the same as dealing with food and produce. During the hot summer months, batteries and temperatures under the hood of your car can be extreme. With heat being the enemy of batteries, these high temperatures cause the active material in the battery plates to deteriorate rapidly and the grids to corrode. We don’t normally notice an loss of performance in the summer months because its warm and the vehicle is easy to start. Along comes old man winter, the fluids in our engines are less viscous and the cold reduces the power available from the battery, all of which result in a no start and lead one to believe that the cold killed the battery, when the damage was actually done in the summer!

The moral of the story is, have your battery tested by a qualified technician in the fall during regular maintenance or when you're switching to winter tires. This will often save you money and the inconvenience of your vehicle not starting in the winter on a day when you need it the most.