Batteries used in fuel cars are mainly lead acid batteries. Because such batteries require a chemical reaction of lead and sulfuric acid to convert chemical energy into electricity, their performance is often affected by a number of factors. Extreme temperature conditions are the natural enemy of lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries may have different levels of performance in different seasons. Earlier, we have talked about the importance of Car Battery Maintenance in Summer. Now, winter is coming soon. The cold weather will give stress on the use of lead acid batteries and increase the possibility of battery failures, and a trickle charger can give its help for your car battery use and maintenance.
Influence of Cold Weather on Lead Acid Batteries
The influence of cold weather on lead acid batteries is that it will increase of chemical resistance of the batteries due to the freeze. This will slow down the rate of chemical reactions within the battery, which will also slow down the rate at which the battery can be charged and discharged. The optimum working temperature for lead acid batteries is between 50 and 85 F. There is a rule shown that for every 15-20 degree drop below 80 F, the capacity of the battery will drop by about 10%. On colder days, when the temperature drops further below -20 F, the capacity of the battery can drop to half of its original level. More knowledge about lead acid batteries can be found on our previous blog: Lead Acid, Lithium Batteries and Their Chargers.
In cold weather, the sulfuric acid electrolyte in a lead acid battery may change from its original diluted state into the condition similar like jelly. At the same time, the molecular action within the battery will be less effective. Now, both discharging and charging of a lead acid battery will put pressure on its electrolyte. In the lead acid battery family, AGM batteries have several advantages over flooded batteries. AGM batteries are maintenance-free. AGM batteries may have an increase in its capacity by approximately 40% compared with flooded batteries. The depth of discharge of AGM batteries can reach 80%, while that of flood batteries can only reach about 50%. Despite these advantages, one thing that is certain is that their charging time will be extended in cold weather. In certain transportation industries, with their urgent requirements for the use of lead acid batteries, charging the batteries only at idle time is unacceptable.
Signs of Frozen Lead Acid Batteries
In general, you can tell whether a battery has been frozen or not through its outlook. Frozen batteries often have bumps in some areas. When the bulge reaches a certain level, it may break through the shell and create visible cracks. If the electrolyte leaks out along the cracks, you might see that some frozen icicles on the outside of the cell when the temperature is low. In addition, if there is frost on the terminal or plastic casing of the battery, you can also tell that the battery is likely to be frozen.
Ways to Prevent Lead Acid Battery from Freezing
To prevent lead acid batteries from freezing in winter is simply to keep them at a reasonable level by using and charging them frequently. You should check the battery capacity and electrolyte level even before winter is about to come. In addition, check whether there is corrosion in the electrodes of the battery. According to tests, a 40% charged lead acid battery will possibly freezes at the temperature of -16 F. However, for a 100% fully charged lead acid battery, the temperature when it freezes is around -76 F. Therefore, to protect your lead acid battery and keep your vehicle always ready to use, a portable car battery charger can provide a great convenience. That is Why You Need a Car Battery Charger.
A Trickle Charger Will be the Best Choice
There are multiple types of car battery chargers available in the market today for different charging situations. Fast chargers provide a higher charging current to the battery, which can significantly reduce the charging time required. Conventional battery chargers charge batteries in three stages: bulk charge, absorption charge and float charge. Float charge can also be called maintenance charge. It usually takes as long as about 12 hours to complete the charging for a lead acid battery. The third type of chargers are trickle chargers. They do not seek excessive charging speed. They rely on a low but sustained current to realize the trickle charging and at the same time maintenance for lead acid batteries. In winter, a trickle charger will be the ideal choices to prevent the freezing problems associated with low capacity in batteries. A battery charger with trickle charging function can constantly stimulate the battery’s electrolyte and thus generate heat. To keep the electrolyte at normal temperature can help keep the battery most functional. The use of a trickle charger to charge and maintain lead acid batteries can Let Lead Acid Batteries Work Better. Here is why a trickle charger are the best pal for lead acid batteries in winter.
Benefits of Owning a Trickle Charger in Winter
The advantages of using a trickle charger during the cold winter months are as follows:
- To keep the battery connected to a trickle charger can make the battery handy at any time.
- It will make the control of the charging process easier by using a trickle charger. Using a conventional battery charger requires a careful attention to the charging time of the battery to avoid the battery overcharged. This will not be a concern in the use of a trickle charger since it often has an automatic turn-off function.
- Compared with monofunctional battery chargers, by using trickle chargers, expensive lead acid batteries can be properly charged and maintained at the same time. They can extend the lifespan of the battery. This saves extra money cost on unnecessary battery repurchases.
- Using a trickle charger is also the simplest way to maintain your battery in winter. There are also other ways for the protection and maintenance of lead acid batteries in winter. However, it is not very convenient to use battery blankets to wrap the battery, while heating the garage 24 hours a day is either not practical. Therefore, the benefits of owning a trickle charger in winter can provide a proper maintenance for your lead acid battery during the cold days. For more benefits about the use of trickle chargers, please go to our previous blog The Benefits of Owning a Trickle Charger.
Our Trickle Charger Products
Power1986 has a wide range of car battery chargers for both lead acid batteries and lithium-ion batteries. Our 12-24V One-Click Intelligent Pulse Repair Car Battery Charger, 6V-12V 1000mA Car Battery Charger, and 6V-12V Car Battery Charger all feature trickle charging and automatic shutdown functions for your easy and convenient charging and maintenance of your batteries. Just choose the product accordingly with your car battery and make the use of your battery easier.
Other Ways to Keep Your Battery Healthy During the Winter
There are also some good habits that can help to better keep your battery healthy during the winter months. These habits are as follows:
- The frequent driving of the vehicle can ensure that the battery can be charged frequently and thus the battery can be maintained at a fair level.
- If possible, park your vehicle in a garage.
- Start the engine regularly when the vehicle is not used for a long time to avoid potential battery failures.
- Check the battery electrolyte level and whether its terminals have been peeled or corroded.
- Replace batteries that have been used for more than 4 or 5 years, especially when there is a noticeable deterioration in its performance.