At one time or another, we’ve all been there; in fact if you’re reading this article you probably ARE there! You go out to your car on a cold Bedford, PA. morning, turn the key… nothing, then you start thinking; “didn’t I replace the battery during winter a few years ago?”
Which naturally leads to the question: Why do car batteries fail in cold weather?
Trust me when we say that Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA. has seen its share of cold weather battery replacements, but if we sit down and look at repair tickets and compare it with national averages, we will find that cold weather battery replacements are just as frequent as hot weather battery replacements. Extreme temperatures are the leading cause for battery failure, both hot and cold; but that’s not the only reason.
The internal components that make up a lead acid battery, commonly used in most passenger vehicles, is a marvel of technology; but 19th century technology. While battery manufacturers have produced ways to better insulate batteries and create a better designed structure; batteries are still susceptible to the degradation of natural materials that makes up your average battery. Extreme temperatures cause the additional expansion and contraction of the lead-based materials and slow the chemical reactions needed for a battery to work properly.
To understand this better let’s get a brief understanding of:
A battery is a series of lead plates placed in a solution of acid that creates a chemical reaction transferring electrodes during a charging and discharging process. The energy discharge capacity and ability to store energy over an extended period of time (reserve) is determined by the space and density of the plates. Simply adding acid to this layered plate structure will create a chemical process that will produce levels of chemical energy that can be translated through positive and negative connection points and measured; however when an electric current is added this process also allows for the storage of electric energy that can be discharged very quickly (such as starting a car).
As previously discussed, extreme temperatures in Bedford, PA. will cause the expansion/ contraction of the soft metal plates, as well as, the deterioration of the barriers between each of the “cells” them making them less effective for the rapid discharge of chemical to electric energy. At Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA. we also see age and use of a battery will also add to the battery’s speed of decay. When a battery is rapidly discharged without being recharged it creates a buildup on the plates that significantly slows the chemical process making it less effective for the rapid release of electric energy.
When a vehicle’s charging system is not properly restoring a battery’s electrical capacity it can cause this build-up to be very rapid; this is also why battery manufacturers recommend to never run a battery all the way down, because it can effectively build-up enough contaminants to keep the battery from allowing the chemical process to take place.
The different prices for different batteries and their level of quality (silver, gold, platinum) are standard identifiers of what’s inside each battery. The more lead, the stronger the battery and the greater its capacity to release the chemically stored energy into electric energy. Smaller, cheaper batteries will typically go “full old-school”, using battery technology that hasn’t changed much in 20 years.
Some manufacturers such as: Napa’s legend series batteries, institute an internal structure that promotes a stable chemical process but also allows for a larger deposit area for sedimentary contaminants and stronger barriers between the cells. Higher quality batteries also allow for better “breathing” of the battery through tiny holes around the posts. Lesser quality batteries do not allow for proper ventilation when a battery gets hot causing excessive acid to form on the battery posts.
Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA. is your local expert for everything dealing with your automotive electrical needs. Whether it’s routine replacement such as batteries, tires and oil changes or more in depth services such as electrical system diagnosis and repair, head gasket replacement, water pump replacement and transmission repair; we handle it all! The ASE, dealer trained, master technicians at Town Hill Auto Repair Service in Bedford, PA. can help keep your vehicle running its best, saving money along the way. As a Napa certified repair facility we also backup all of our workmanship with high quality Napa parts and a nationwide warranty.
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