We in the automotive battery industry have noticed quite a decline in sales compared with previous years. This has been mainly due to the warm weather we have experienced over the past few months.
Lead acid batteries convert chemical energy into electrical energy and heat is the catalyst. If you increase the temperature of the lead acid battery it will accept and store more power but the longevity will decrease. If you cool a battery it will store less power and the longevity will increase.
Why do batteries fail in winter? Partly to do with the information above so when the battery is cold it delivers less power this added to the fact it is more difficult to turn a cold engine because the cold temperature thickens the oil.
We are finding that most of the batteries we are taking into our depots at County Battery Services have not failed because of dead cells or weakness in their manufacture but they fail because they are worn out.
As a battery is used the active material is shed from the positive plate lowering the cold start performance. Whilst the weather is is warm less strain is on the battery which may be so tired it will not start in the cold. so as soon as there is a drop in temperature cars fail to start without giving a warning
If you don’t want to get caught flat in the cold have your battery checked every year. Lots of companies provide this service for free.
Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net