Negative temperatures reduce battery capacity, deteriorate the ability to accept a charge, and a cold engine start requires more energy. New powerful consumers are activated on board: heater, rear window anti-frost heater. Headlights and windshield wipers operate practically all the time. The total current consumption constitutes approximately 40 А. When idling, the generator can no longer handle powering of the consumers, most of the energy is provided by the battery. When driving. the possibility of the generator recharging the battery appears to be very modest as well. Eventually, the battery becomes chronically undercharged. The user may fail to notice it, since even a partial charge is normally enough for starting the engine. However, chronic undercharging results in plate sulphation, which reduces the capacitance and increases internal resistance. In turn, this leads to reduced working lifespan of the battery and deteriorated starting characteristics. Therefore, in winter systematic recharging of the battery is required.
To eliminate the negative consequences caused by operating a battery in the winter, adhere to the following recommendations:
- avoid prolonged use of electricity consumers when the engine is off;
- check the good working condition of the generator (generator belt tension);
- check the electrolyte density. If this is not possible, periodically measure the battery voltage. If the voltage drops to 12.6 V or lower, charge the battery;
- if you are not planning to use the car for several days or more, you should turn off the battery (disconnect one of its terminals);
- the wires from the battery can be additionally connected to the car engine to reduce voltage loss on the starter when the engine starts;
- prevent current leakage from the battery. In winter, current leakage is more probable due to contact of wires with moisture. As a result, the battery discharge occurs more quickly.
Adherence to these simple rules will help reduce the load on the battery during the cold season. It will also prolong your battery working life.