Check your car battery before the cold hits

Check your car battery before the cold hits
A corroded terminal on a car battery. Check yours before it gets too cold later this week. (Source: Taylor Clark)

MURPHYSBORO, IL (KFVS) - With extreme cold winter weather coming into the Heartland over the next few days, it’s important to make sure your car battery will get you from point a - to point b - during the artic blast.

Robert Finster owns Autotronix in Murphysboro, he says cold weather always brings in many customers complaining about their cars not starting due to a bad battery.

“When they turn the key and it goes, ‘click-click-click,’ not, ‘vroom-vroom,’ then you’ve got a problem,” he said.

Overall, Finster says the best thing you can do to keep your car going while it’s really cold out, is to make sure it’s not too old. They lose charge over time, and the cold makes them even weaker. He says if your battery is over 3 years old, it could be risky in cold temperatures.

“When you have a weak battery, you have less available current,” Finster said, “the starter takes more current to start so it won’t start.”

He says you can also try to keep your battery terminals clean of corrosion by brushing them with a baking soda and water solution.

However, Finster said if you’re really worried about breaking down due to a dead battery, you should keep a portable jump starter in your car that you can buy at most auto parts stores. Just make sure you keep it charged.

“It’s probably just nice to have one for emergencies,” Finster said. "You know, power goes out at your house? Got something to charge your cell phone with.”

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