As the weather plummets, automotive failures skyrocket. This is traceable to the impact cold weather has on your car battery.
In this guide, you will discover the car battery that is the best for cold weather.
Which car battery is the best for cold weather? The ideal battery for cold weather is that which delivers enough CCA to start your vehicle regardless of how far the mercury has fallen.
Best Car Battery For Cold Weather
1. Odyssey 65-PC1750T
If you are looking for an overachieving car battery, the Odyssey 65-PC1750T is your best bet for cold weather.
This car battery provides an astonishing 950 cold cranking amps; this is an unbeatable rating on the market today.
The 65-PC1750T is a deep cycle, military-grade car battery that resists extreme temperatures and intense vibrations. It comes with a leak-proof design and can withstand mechanical wear.
The 65-PC1750T lasts up to 70 percent longer than other types of deep cycle car batteries. You can even have a stable voltage across the car battery for a long time; still, it delivers a much longer cycle life than its competitors.
The 65-PC1750T is a highly efficient rechargeable lead battery with a charge time of 4-6 hours.
This car battery is not cheap but is worth the investment.
2. Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop Starting Battery
The Optima Batteries 8004-003 34/78 RedTop comes with leak-proof elements and high power output that standard car batteries cannot match.
The product’s #1 attraction is its ability to start any car in any climate.
This battery comes with high marks from professionals in the car starting battery industry. It is the best car battery for heavy applications, i.e. for use on off-road vehicles and hot rods. And it can tolerate 15x more vibration than any other starting battery in its class.
The RedTop Starting battery comes with 1 hour 40 minutes’ reserve capacity, which guarantees consistent performance. Since it comes with SpiralCell technology, the unit outlasts and outperforms conventional batteries in draining-starting-and-cranking applications.
3. ACDelco ACDB24R Advantage AGM Automotive BCI Group 51 Battery
Another high-performance car battery that will never disappoint you in cold weather is ACDelco. It features the maintenance-free AGM (absorbed glass mat) technology.
Maintenance-free car batteries are the best to use these days, and ACDelco ACDB24R is highly reliable for automotive use. Its valve-regulated gas recombinant technology provides up to 3 times life cycle compared to traditional car batteries.
No leaks can happen when using this battery, and users claim it outlasts many competitors.
4. DieHard 38188 Advance Gold AGM Battery–Group 34R
DieHard is one of the most popular car battery brands known to churn out great products.
One of their products is the DieHard 38188, which comes with 120 minutes reserve capacity with ampere-hours rating of 55AH.
This is a long-lasting car battery and comes with life warranties. Its vibration resistance is up to 20 times more than Optima car batteries.
DieHard 38188 is a spill-proof car battery, and the plates are arranged to prevent an electrical short circuit inside the battery. This power pack comes with an innovative technology that enhances the electrolyte suspension system.
The electrical suspension system absorbs electrolytes, protecting internal components.
5. Optima Batteries 8040-218 D35 YellowTop Dual Purpose Battery
The Optima 8040-218 D35 YellowTop is a heavy-duty, dual-purpose battery designed exclusively for automotive use.
This YellowTop battery has a supreme starting power and deep cycle more than any traditional battery out there. It is ideal for a variety of automotive applications including trucks, winches, forklifts, racing cars, RVs, etc.
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The YellowTop is spill-proof and provides up to 3x lifetime compared to traditional car batteries. It comes with 15 times more vibration resistance and is relatively affordable.
Which Types of Car Battery Are Suitable for Cold Weather?
Even though there are several types of car batteries available today, some are better than others. Here are the basic features of the most popular battery designs:
Standard Flooded Battery
The standard flooded battery is a lead-acid car battery designed to power basic electrical systems. They can provide reliable start-ups.
This is not the best choice if you are looking for a car battery with high vibration resistance. It is also not ideal for vehicles that require extra electrical demands.
Absorbent Glass Mat (AGM) battery
Absorbent Glass Mat car batteries provide excellent vibration resistance and reliable starting power. These batteries offer both deep cycling and recharge, and they are spill resistant.
AGM car batteries are designed to meet high electrical demands and are a smart choice for cold weather.
The SPIRALLCELL design from Optima is one of the best car battery for high performance and cold weather.
It is, however, much more expensive and also provides more power than a regular automobile requires. The Optima SPIRALLCELL car battery offers everything an AGM car battery does, but can hold up impressively well in extreme weather.
How Much Cold Can a Car Battery Handle?
A fully charged car battery will not normally freeze at -60 degrees Celsius. Typically, car batteries can stand up to temperatures of -76 degrees which is unbearably cold.
Only a couple of places ever reach such a low temperature. At that temperature, your car battery may likely freeze.
Signs of a Failing Car Battery
In most cases, your car battery will not warn you before it fails. But here are the common signs you should watch out for:
- Electronic accessories fail
- Engine cranks much more slowly
- The car battery is over 3 years old
- Light blue or white corrosion at the positive post or on the case
- The smell of rotten eggs or sulfur
- Headlights dim yellow instead of white
- Dome lights dim
- Battery case cracked or swollen
- Car horn sounds rather unusual
What Does Cold Weather Do to a Car Battery?
So, what happens to your car battery in temperatures below freezing point? This is what happens in simple language:
The voltage your car battery provides is because of a chemical reaction that takes place within the internal cells. Cold temperatures, especially below freezing point or at the freezing point, reduce the speed of that chemical reaction.
As a result, the battery will be forced to use up to twice the current as usual to start up the engine. Moreover, the oil in your engine thickens as temperatures plummet. And the thicker the oil, the more power your car battery needs to move the viscous oil to where it ought to be.
It is this deep draw on your car battery that shortens battery life, especially if it is 3 years old or older.
Are AGM Car Batteries Suitable for Cold Weather?
AGM (Absorbent Glass Mat) car batteries feature a construction different from conventional flooded batteries. They are sealed lead-acid batteries designed for vehicles, military aircraft, and UPS to improve reliability and reduce weight.
AGM car batteries can withstand freezing, i.e. stand up remarkably well to low temperatures. Even though you may get little or no output from a frozen battery, the low temperature will not break the case or ruin the battery.
AGM car batteries also have incredibly low resistance and can deliver high currents on demand. They provide excellent electrical reliability and long service life, even when deep cycled.
So, yes, AGM car batteries are suitable for cold weather. Plus, they have a low self-discharge.
Important Features and Specifications for Cold Weather Battery
Here are important features and specifications to look for in a cold weather battery:
A good car battery for cold weather must be able to withstand heavy-duty use. It should not require maintenance or frequent replacement.
Cold Cranking Amps
CCA or cold cranking amps is an essential feature in any cold-weather car battery. Temperatures during winter may plummet below 0 degrees. The battery must be able to generate enough amps to start your engine regardless of the frigid conditions.
Cold cranking amps, therefore, refers to the number of amps provided by the battery at such a low temperature. You should go for a car battery with high cold cranking amps. That way, you can start your car any time, irrespective of the weather.
The alternator in your vehicle can fail any time. However, you will still need your car battery to continue powering your automobile’s many functions.
This is where ‘reserve capacity’ comes in. A car battery with a high reserve capacity should produce 25 amps at 80 degrees Celsius for a specific period. The top brands can deliver up to 100 minutes reserve capacity.
Using a maintenance-free battery reduces the stress of having to fill it up with water now and again. So, go for a maintenance-free car battery.
Amp hours refer to the measure of a car battery’s reserve capacity. It is the energy charge required for the battery to generate one ampere for one hour.
A car battery with high amp hours ensures your vehicle and its electronics continue running for an extended period before you need to recharge it.
Tips for Maintaining Car Battery in Cold Weather
You can do the following to keep your battery in top shape:
- Leave your car battery on a ‘maintainer’ type battery charger during winter. This will prevent current drain from your vehicle.
- Disconnect the battery cables. Current drains from your car cannot damage your car battery if it is not connected.
- If connected, make sure you switch off all interior lights and unplug accessories not in use.
Getting the best car batteries for cold weather can save prevent you from getting stuck out in the cold. But it’s important to know how to choose the ideal power pack for your regions’ climate. We hope this guide will help you choose a quality cold weather battery that serve for many winters.