Astoria Mechanic | Collision Repair | Tolimas Auto Center

battery cables

Why your car doesn’t start in the winter

Even though this has been a mostly mild New York winter there are certain days where the temperature dips and we get phone calls from customers whose vehicles don’t start. The problem tends to always be a weak battery when this issue occurs on very cold days. As car batteries get old they lose their ability to hold a charge. The cold temperatures make it even harder for the battery to undergo the chemical reaction it needs to release enough electrons to start the car in the winter. This leads to people with cars that barely start or don’t start at all.

Why does a car battery fail?

Age is the most common factor as to why a car battery fails, but there are other things to consider. Modern cars with fully featured entertainment systems and large stereo systems require a lot of electricity to run all the electrical components. This means that the car puts large demand of power on the alternator and battery. Added to the fact that in New York City driving, people drive very short distances means that the battery doesn’t get the opportunity to fully recharge. This causes the battery to degrade prematurely.

Other reasons why your car might have a hard time starting are more mechanical in nature. Your car gets power from the battery through large electrical cables. Over time the battery cables can corrode and limit the battery’s ability to supply power to start your car. We also see car batteries that aren’t properly installed in some customer’s automobiles. When a battery is improperly installed the battery gets damaged from the engine bay’s vibrations as well as stop and go driving cause the battery to get knocked around. Without proper restraint the excessive movement will cause damage to the battery’s internal components.

Car Broken Down

What can I do to avoid getting stranded?

For the average motorist it is important to pay attention to any warnings on your dash board. In modern cars a weak battery will set off a light in the shape of a battery on your dashboard. On older cars pay attention how long it takes your car to start on cold days. If the car starts like normal you are fine, but if you turn the key and have to hold it for your car to start, then you need to have your battery tested.

At Tolima’s Auto Center we offer free battery charging system testing to give our customers peace of mind and avoid getting stranded

Free Battery Charging Test
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