Can Cold Weather Kill A Car Battery

Posted in Car Batteries | Asked on Jun 25, 2010

I went off to college this August, and I lived in Alaska, where I left my ’96 Chevy Blazer. Well, my parents never so much as started the thing up when I was gone, and now it won’t start. The battery is so dead it won’t even accept a charge from a trickle charger, and I remember that the last time I let it sit for about 4 months in the winter, the battery died too. Does the extreme cold do this, or is the problem with my car’s charging system?
The battery was less than a year old too, and it’s only been down to about -15 at most, but it’s still rough.

There are 11 Answers for "Can Cold Weather Kill A Car Battery"

  1. jay d says:

    yes the cold kills batteries, they wont take a good charge if below 40 degrees also

  2. big_george says:

    Absolutely – it’s dead

  3. Chad B says:

    yup the cold does that. hasn’t it happened to your digital camera and everything else? When keeping your car in the cold like that, you have to take it for a long ride every once in awhile. Go get a battery that is designed for colder conditions.

  4. orphan says:

    yes, only if its an old battery.

  5. roger S says:

    The batteries will freeze if left too long. I had a truck break down in Long Lac as I was passing through Northern Ontario and it was about -40, 2 years back. By the time the mechanic fixed it on Monday (I broke down Friday night/Saturday A.M.), the batteries were all frozen and had to be replaced. Hope this helps.

  6. mark w says:

    no problem with the car, cold kills batterys.know what even manufacturers don’t know why.everready is a good battery if your in manitoba go battery man good stuff really cheap

  7. COMMODE COMMANDER says:

    Yes Cold will kill a battery especially a old one. If your going to park a car for long periods it’s best to take the battery out and put it up somewhere where the temp’ doesn’t drop so low. I have a car that stays parked in the winter and i take the battery out and bring it in the house where it stays on the back porch. It’s screened in and boxed so the wind can’t get to it. It doesn’t get as cold there plus i have a battery maintainer plugged in there to keep the battery up if it needs it.. It kicks on when the battery needs it and kicks off when it doesn’t. Any thing 30 and below will kill a good battery. Get a new battery and a maintainer. When you are going to park it for over a week plug the maintainer into the house and the other end with the clips to the battery and leave it on. Your battery will stay hot through the winter and be ready to go when you need it.

  8. teamepler@verizon.net says:

    Yes it can, but only if it has discharged. Most modern cars have a current draw due to the cars electronic systems, which means they will go dead in a few weeks if not ran.
    If a weak (low charge or discharged) battery is left to freeze it will ruin the electrolyte and even push plates together and cause a short.
    I don’t bring my batteries in out of cars I am not using in the winter, I just disconnect them. This is cheaper and more effective the starting the car up every few weeks. It takes less fuel and keeps the battery protected.
    I imagine that if it gets cold enough the electrolyte will freeze, and cause battery damage even in a charged battery. I just don’t know the freezing point of battery acid.

  9. Ash H says:

    I had this problem on an old car and when I leave it for a long period of time the battery died. I replaced it each time but now I disconnect the battery from the car and put it somewhere inside and it keeps the charge. Its annoying to do but saves money in the long run.

  10. mix man says:

    yes cold will kill a battery

  11. r_goodearl says:

    Most car/truck batteries will/should have an open circuit voltage of 12.6 volts. If your battery discharges over a period of time, which can happen with a simple parasitic draw (such as a on board CPU) or possibly leaving a interior light on, this will cause the battery to discharge.

    When a battery is fully charged it has a specific gravity of 1260 (this is the measurement of sulfuric acid) this measurement can be checked with a hydrometer, when the battery discharges the sulfuric acid goes through a chemical reaction and becomes more like water and would measure a specific gravity of 1000.

    If water freezes at 32 degrees F and you battery was completely discharged, then it is fair to say that your battery froze solid like a ice cube.

    Once this happens, the battery is 99% unrecoverable. Your trickel charger would be useless on the battery.

    When you replace your battery, you should have your charging system checked out. This can be done at any Auto Parts store or a local Walmart free a charge.

    In the future, if you plan to leave the vehicle longer than 4 weeks, you should disconnect the negitive cable from your battery. This will eleminate any paristic draw down.

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