Hollywood, MD – As Old Man Winter begins his arrival the temperatures began to get lower and lower. Getting your car to start becomes a challenge. According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the failure of a motor vehicle to start usually means an issue with the battery.

“Cold, damp weather plays havoc on batteries as vehicle electrical systems have to work harder,” AAA Mid-Atlantic reported in its final 2016 issue of AAA World. “Cold temperatures affect the chemical process inside the battery that produces and stores electrically, slowing it down and reducing the battery’s ability to hold a charge.”

Auto care experts recommend taking these precautions:

  • Switch off all loads, including lights, wipers and heater before switching off your engine at the end of your journey. This will prevent unnecessary drain on the battery the next time you start up.
  • Avoid using heaters for longer than you have to as they put high demand on the vehicle’s battery.
  • Be sure to check to make sure there are no interior lights left on or any accessories such as phone chargers left connected.
  • Park your vehicle in a garage whenever possible.

Another good idea is to get your battery tested when you have pre-winter maintenance done. Also have the electrical system checked. Auto experts indicate that under ideal conditions a car battery could last up to six years. However, temperature extremes and frequent short trips put strain on the battery and shorten its life. An average battery will last from three to five years. A replacement could cost between $60 to $300.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com