Why does cold weather kill a car battery?

Why does cold weather kill car batteries? I left my car outside last winter and the battery died overnight! My mechanic said it was because of the cold, but I don’t understand how this could happen. How could cold weather kill a car battery?

Good question, and I’m sorry that happened! Cold weather can kill your battery by slowing down the chemical reactions that keep it running.
Way back in high school chemistry, you probably learned something about chemical reactions happening faster in the heat and slower in the cold. In normal temperatures, your battery will run as it should, and in high temperatures, it might overheat. But the reaction is so slow in freezing temperatures that your battery could lose up to 60% of its strength!
Here are a few tips to save your battery from the cold:
  • Get a battery blanket. Battery blankets are a relatively cheap product that you can wrap around your battery to keep it warm.
  • Park your car inside. Keeping your car inside is a great way to keep it out of the cold.
  • Make sure it’s charged. A charged battery will resist the cold for longer than a drained one, so keeping it charged could stop your battery from freezing.
In case your battery does die at an inconvenient time or place, it might be a good idea to add towing and labor coverage to your current insurance plan. If you want to make sure you get the best deal on the coverage you need, check out the Jerry app—we’ll get you customized quotes from top insurers in seconds, so that all you need to do is pick the plan that works best for you. And once you find a plan you like, we’ll help you switch, too!
Best of luck with your battery!
Joshua Levy
Answered on Dec 21, 2021

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