- NRMA patrols attended to over 200,000 calls for flat batteries in 2016
- Winter is when your car battery is prone to failure
- How fluctuations in temperatures can affect your battery
- Steps to avoid a battery breakdown
The NRMA knows all about people being stranded by bad batteries, with your roadside assistance patrols attending to 206,265 calls for flat batteries in 2016.
Temperature plays an important role in the performance your batteryInside the typical lead acid battery are lead plates in electrolyte liquid which creates an electro-chemical reaction to produce a charge to the battery terminals. Heat accelerates this chemical activity but also speeds up the internal corrosion with the cells which in turn reduces the lifespan of your battery.
This is particularly true of batteries that repeatedly reach high internal temperatures, and once capacity has been damaged by heat, it can’t be restored. But just as heat speeds up chemical reactions, cold temperatures slow them down. That’s why you might feel your battery can become sluggish in winter, even though its state of charge may remain unchanged.
At colder temperatures, the battery’s ability to provide sufficient power to start and run a vehicle is diminished. Automotive batteries are rated in CCA (Cold-Cranking Amperage). This is the amount of current a battery can deliver for 30 seconds at -18 C without dropping to a specified cut-off voltage. A fully charged lead-acid battery can survive up to –50 C, but a battery with a low state of charge can freeze at –1 C. When the water in a battery freezes it expands and can cause irreparable damage to the cells.