Fun Fact: Heat can cause your battery to fail. Did your brain just do a double-take? Are you now thinking, “Wait. But my car struggles to start in the cold, not the heat. So that can’t be right!”
I hear you and yes, it’s the cold that often seems to stress out the battery but here’s why you might notice once the cold weather arrives: Heat can cause battery fluid to evaporate, and insufficient fluid causes damage to the inner workings of the battery. That is why we recommend having your battery tested when the seasons change. And yes, the cold can also add stress to the body of the battery which could cause the acid to freeze and expand, putting pressure on the cells. It isn’t super likely but it is possible.
Another sign to test or change the battery is if the car struggles to start. If you go out in the morning and the engine needs to turn over a few times before the car starts, it could be a sign that the battery may be on the verge of failure (Edgar, owner at Aurora AutoPros talks about that here). But it can mean other things (engine oil has gotten thicker, the alternator or the voltage regulator is malfunctioning, or possibly the starter itself) so it is wise to have a trusted shop do an inspection.
A high quality battery should last about 5 years and we recommend you invest in a good battery with a solid warranty (we can hook you up) but you should have it checked every year, just to be sure all is good.
Let’s be real: there is NEVER a convenient time for your car to die! By paying attention to how your car sounds and feels, you have a better chance at catching issues before they become big problems.
Stay safe out there!