- Helping you drive happy

Car battery: Tips for a trouble-free winter

The right choice, proper maintenance By ,

In collaboration with OK Tires

Your car’s battery provides it with all of the required electrical current prior to starting the engine. It powers accessories like the lights, dashboard indicators, and the radio, as well as the engine start-up, the fuel system, and the onboard computer. Without sufficient electrical power for the start-up and fuel systems, initial combustion cannot take place, and your engine won’t start.

Canadian winters can be exceedingly hard on any vehicle’s health. When frigid temperatures hit, the electrical power required to start a car’s engine is particularly affected. A car battery in good condition helps ensure worry-free engine starting and spare you a lot of headaches. It’s worth remembering a few simple tips to choose your car battery, and to maintain it properly once in use.

Aline Albert, a specialist in automotive repair and maintenance at OK Tires, believes that prevention is the most effective weapon when it comes to ensuring your car starts and performs reliably during winter. She recommends paying attention to certain signs that could be indicative of problems to come.

“If the engine is having difficulty starting, or if the headlights are dimmer than they should be, this signifies that the car battery is nearing the end of its life,” she explains. “Ideally, an annual check can help you verify its condition, keeping in mind that it can last 4-5 years.

The best time to carry out an inspection is right before winter, because the battery will be more heavily solicited once the cold weather hits.

When temperatures dip below freezing, experts recommend limiting consecutive short trips. In fact, short excursions in quick succession will use up a lot of the battery charge, without giving your car time to recharge it. Conversely, a long period of inactivity could cause problems when you try to start up the engine again.

Lastly, remember that the battery works in conjunction with the starter and the alternator. These elements should also be inspected before the winter season, or as soon as any signs of wear or corrosion become evident.