If you would like to dramatically reduce the odds of getting stranded with a dead battery this winter, install an electric battery blanket (or battery warmer, as it can be called). As the mercury drops, so too does your car battery’s cranking power. Cold temperatures reduce the efficiency of chemical reactions within the battery, while increasing the battery’s internal resistance. Both of these factors cause a reduction in cranking power as temperatures drop. At -18C, a fully charged battery can provide just 40% cranking power compared to 100% at +25C. As the temperature drops further, your battery is putting out a fraction of its warm weather cranking capabilities. A battery blanket is an inexpensive solution to this problem. Installation is as simple as strapping the unit around the battery and running the cord out to the front of the vehicle. You can run your block heater and battery warmer at the same time. Be sure to check that running both items does not trip the outlet breaker. If your car is not equipped with a block heater, this accessory is excellent added insurance.
Before the extreme cold temperatures take hold, be sure that your battery in good condition. Make that the posts and cable-ends are clean and free of corrosion. If you suspect that your battery is failing, have it tested at most any automotive repair shop. Do not hesitate to replace it. Batteries are relatively inexpensive compared to most other replacement parts. While we are on the subject cold weather engine cranking, of paramount importance is a motor oil that flows well in cold weather to ease cold-cranking and one that flows immediately to prevent engine wear. AMSOIL Synthetic Motor Oils flow easily into the -40’s and -50’s.