Does cold weather drain car batteries?

I’ve always thought it was an urban myth that winter was hard on car batteries. Does cold weather drain car batteries?

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Answer provided by
Bonnie Stinson
Answered on Jun 23, 2022
Cold weather can drain car batteries by slowing down the chemical reaction inside your battery, making it especially tricky to start your car when the temperature plummets.
At freezing (32 F or 0 C), a car’s battery may lose about 35% of its strength. When it gets as cold as 0 F or -17 C, your battery may lose about 60% of its strength! The chemicals inside the battery get sluggish in cold weather—and this is the time of year when your engine really needs a lot of power to get started.
If you don’t get a ton of cold nights where you live, you probably don’t need to worry about this. But if you get more than a week of freezing temperatures, you might want to consider some ways to help protect your battery from the cold:
  • Use a battery blanket, available at most auto shops. Read the instructions!
  • Park your car in a protected area, like a garage or sheltered area.
  • Charge your battery fully before winter sets in.
While you figure out a fix for your battery, now might be a good time to make sure you’re happy with your car insurance situation. You can use the Jerry app to check your coverage, add extra protection for the winter, or look for a lower rate.

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