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Video: How to keep your car running in the cold

Feb 16, 2021 06:31AM ● By Editor

Watch the WDIO-TV Report here

Photo: WDIO-TV

By Ryan Juntti of WDIO-TV - February 15, 2021 

We are going to be dealing with this cold stretch for at least a little bit longer, and making sure your car battery is in good shape will help ensure you are able to get where you're trying to go.

Keeping your car running in the cold comes down to properly maintaining your battery, and not letting your car sit too long without running it.

These are tips that can keep your battery from having to be replaced, and your car from sitting in the shop.

Advance Auto Parts in Duluth Store Associate Val Johnsen said during an interview with WDIO News around 3:00 Monday afternoon that they had replaced 36 batteries since 8:00 Monday morning.

"36 in one day has been kind of a record breaking day for us," Johnsen said.

Johnsen says batteries have been flying off of the shelves.

Over at Dick's Twin Ports Transmission in Superior, mechanics have been busy replacing their fair share of them as well.

"I'd say we've probably replaced at least five a day for two weeks," said Dick's Twin Ports Transmission Mechanic Shaun Monaghan.

Monaghan says there are key maintenance tips you can take to ensure your battery is in good shape, and your car starts.

"Make sure that you keep the battery posts clean. When the cold weather, or if they sit for a long time, you get acid buildup on your terminals, it could loosen them up," said Monaghan.   

He also says in the cold weather, it's important to run or drive your car as much as possible, so it doesn't sit for long periods of time.

"It's just you don't want to get in your car, drive five minutes, turn it off, and then let it sit all day, and then another five minutes home. It doesn't properly charge the cells correctly. You want to get it to run for at least 45 minutes to an hour. If it's driving possible, that's better, but if it is just using it to start it, and then going, that's fine too," said Monaghan.

Testing your battery before it gets too cold out can also help you determine whether it needs replacing.

"If the cranking amps are low, definitely would replace it as soon as you can before the cold winter, and that 25 below 0 weather hits us," said Johnsen.   

Another sign your battery may need replacing is if your car stalls while trying to start it.

It is also recommended to get your battery changed at least every four to five years.

To watch the original report and ease related stories, follow this link to the WDIO-TV website.

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