Winter sure is coming. If you live in any area of the country where the temperature routinely drops below freezing, you’ll want to make sure you car battery can stand up to the snow. Getting stuck with a dead vehicle after everyone else has already gone home is as miserable as it sounds, so take the necessary precautions to keep your batteries safe throughout the frigid season.

 

Begin With The Basics

 

When did you have this battery installed? If you can’t remember, that’s probably a pretty solid indication that it’s been over four years, which means you should get it tested soon to avoid getting stranded in the bleak midwinter. Many auto mechanic shops will test your battery free of charge to ensure its charge is enough to power through the subzero temperatures.

 

Be Prepared

 

Keeping a booster pack (like a miniature battery to jump from) and jumper cables in your trunk guarantee you will have a way home if your battery does decide to kick the bucket. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, so consider how you will feel when you’re stuck on the side of a snowy highway at eight o’clock at night. To avoid this completely preventable roadside emergency, invest in these battery essentials before disaster strikes.

 

Find The Right One

 

If your local mechanic informs you that your battery is running at less-than full power, then it’s time to buy a new one. Batteries were made to match their cars, so if you’re running on a spare that AAA sold you the last time you left your lights on, odds are it isn’t going to carry the right juice to carry your vehicle through extreme temperatures. Unfortunately, that could lead to exactly the scenario we described above. Your mechanic can make sure you get the right new battery for your car.

 

Remember: Around 50% of premature car battery failures are caused by lack of maintenance, so do your due diligence this year and save yourself the headache. Of course, it’s also important to note that there are many other things that could go wrong in your car this winter besides a dead battery.

 

For instance, it’s crucial that you continue to get your oil changed regularly — which includes using oil with the right viscosity for the colder weather. Also, be sure to get your brakes serviced before the snow starts to fall: most auto repair shops offer this service (and check your belts and hoses) if you bring your vehicle in for a pre-season checkup. Be safe this winter: be a responsible car owner.

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