To avoid being disappointed with a non-starting engine and disrupted plans on one of the frosty days, remember several elementary rules of winter battery operation.
1. Check the charge level of your battery. It can be done using an areometer or a voltmeter, but for preliminary estimation you can use an integrated optical indicator in the battery cap. Green color of the indicator means that level of charge of your battery is 70-75%, which is quite enough to start the engine at −20°С, but can be insufficient at lower temperatures.
2. When assessing the battery’s charge level, remember that during operation, the battery is prone to natural deterioration; so, after operating for more than 3 years and mileage exceeding 75 thousand km, the level of deterioration can reach 50 % and therefore, even though all indicators show a high charge level, the actual potential of the battery has significantly decreased. Such a battery can serve you at positive temperatures, but will cause problems once winter starts.
3. When starting the engine, make sure that all electricity consumers of the car are off, since additional consumption of 20–30 А can be critical for a cold engine start.
4. If the engine failed to start at the first attempt, prior to each next attempt, wait for a period of time sufficient for mixing of the electrolyte inside the battery. It is necessary to restore the voltage at the terminals. The longer the pause, the higher the voltage. The minimum wait should be is 10–15 seconds.
5. Remember that short trips in winter when the battery is unable to warm up and, as a consequence, does not get charged on the car, result in eventual inability of the battery to crank the engine. With such driving modes, periodically charge the battery at positive temperatures.
There is no doubt that a fault-free and high-quality battery is an important element for a cold engine start. But no super advanced or expensive battery will save the situation if the car runs on substandard quality oil or fuel, faulty electrical equipment or ignition system.