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Winter Kills off Summer-weakened Batteries

January 2016 | By Youssef Sleiman
In winter, most commuters will hear a sluggish ignition -- if they hear one at all. Ever wonder why? 

Cold kills car batteries. And heat is its accomplice.

That’s why auto shops across America are stocking extra batteries this year.Low temperatures slow down chemical reactions, including the one retaining a charge in your car battery. In winter, most commuters will hear a sluggish ignition – if they hear one at all.

However, mild winters mean fewer battery problems, right? Not necessarily.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, summer 2015 was the hottest on record in more than a century. Many cities experienced highs more than 10 degrees above their average – which, according to a Battery Council International study, is hot enough to damage a battery’s life and capacity.

If a battery gets hot enough, its internal components corrode and weaken how much power the battery has. It’s called heat deterioration. Think of it as pre-aging a battery. And because high temperatures make life easy for a weak battery, no one's going to notice it. Temps don’t have to fall far to make starting a car too hard for a heat-weakened battery. 

The problem is most car owners only think about their car batteries when they're dead.

So when a cold snap hits, no matter how severe, drivers often find themselves stuck.

That’s why Interstate Batteries encourages you to test your battery before winter does. Auto repair shops equipped with testing equipment from Interstate Batteries can detect heat damage and predict exactly how cold it has to get to kill a battery.

Curious? Visit an Interstate Batteries location now and get your battery tested.

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