VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 27, 2014) – With freezing overnight temperatures expected this week, AAA reminds motorists that the extremely cold weather is tough on vehicles, especially your car battery. Traditionally, car batteries last an average of 37 months in a moderate climate, but now, the average life of a battery can be as little as 2 years because of the large amount of power required by the average ‘modern’ car and driver, according to AAA Tidewater Virginia Roadside Assistance Program.
“The power needs of a modern-day vehicle drain the same 12-volt battery drivers have relied on since the 1960s,” said Georjeane Blumling, Vice President of Public Affairs. “Car batteries used to charge items such as cell phones, iPods, and navigation systems are more likely to need to be charged and replaced sooner than one might expect. Cars also draw extra energy to power fans, security and diagnostic systems, and engine management tools, even when the car is not being driven.”
“Drivers may get an early warning when their car battery is about to die. Motorists may notice their car will start slower than usual, interior lights may start to dim or flicker and after -market equipment may not function properly,” advised Blumling. “This is the time to test the battery to see if it needs to be charged or replaced to prevent being stranded.”
Should your vehicle not start due to battery issues, AAA offers the following tips on how to properly jump start your car battery:
- See your owner’s manual for detailed information on how to care for your vehicle.
- Always wear safety glasses when jump starting a battery in case of an explosion.
- Check for visible signs of failure, such as corroded or loose connections.
- Attach the negative connection to the metal frame of the car to avoid too much power going into the negative battery.
- Attach jumper cables to dead battery first to prevent live cables.
- Attach positive cable and negative cable last to the live battery to avoid sparks.
- Always double check connections to make sure you have correct polarity to avoid damage to the car’s electrical system.
- If in doubt, contact an auto technician at AAA Car Care Centers or other AAA Approved Auto Repair facilities to assist you with your car battery.
AAA also encourages motorists to update their emergency roadside kit for winter to include a mobile phone and car charger; blankets; a flashlight with extra batteries; a first-aid kit; drinking water; a small shovel; a sack of sand or cat litter or traction mats; windshield scraper and brush; battery booster cables; and emergency flares or reflectors