One of the main car failures during winter is caused by the 12 volt battery. This is because low temperatures affect performance and make it difficult for the motor to turn, which increases the load and voltage. But driver error can also destroy a perfectly good battery, be it in winter or summer. That’s why we want to respond why does my battery drain so fast?
Cold weather is not only a problem for people, but also for all those vehicles that run on petrol or diesel. The oil in the engine and transmission thickens, causing the engine has a harder time taking the first step. Unfortunately, it also suffers from the cold and decreases in performance, making it even more difficult to run. This combination often results in the engine not starting and the battery draining when you need it most. If you do not want any surprises in the energy supply, pay close attention.
Why Does My Battery Drain so Fast?
Repeatedly driving short distances
The short trips, very repeatedly, damage the vehicle, but the battery is most affected. After working hard to keep the propeller spinning (we repeat, especially in winter), it needs time to recharge, but many people only drive for a short time, not long enough to charge. In winter, the driver also turns on the heater and defroster, making the drain even worse. No wonder heavy, dark brick becomes ballistic after such indifferent handling.
Forgetting to unplug everything that needs electricity
The most classic mistake is: leave the lights on at night: you will definitely come back the next morning and find that the car is completely dead. Most modern cars turn off their lights automatically, but most also keep the power in the 12 volt outlets, so “external consumers” the battery may run out. Pay attention to the multimedia equipment, the climate control system and the on-board lighting, because if they are not turned off correctly, they can consume energy.
Not paying attention to the health of the terminals
The soil allows leakage currents to flow between the positive and negative poles, gradually discharging the battery, something that also includes the corrosion. The connectors should always be kept clean. Otherwise there is a risk of shock. Check the terminals regularly and clean them if necessary, as we have already covered in another dedicated article.
Do not monitor the battery when the car is parked for a long time
This storage of electrical energy is discharged even when all electronic components are switched off. This is why you could use a slow charger if you do not intend to use the vehicle for an extended period of time. A battery that has lost its charge will be affected by sulfation, and this is usually irreparable.
Ignore early failure warnings
The battery does not discharge unexpectedly. Long before that, it will show early signs that should not be overlooked. A typical signal is: flashing lights when you start the engine cold. Also a weak battery will make it difficult for the engine to start long before he gives up altogether. You can check these details by turning on the headlights when the ignition is also on (first Click of the key). If the lights tend to fade, that’s a sure sign that your 12V power supply needs to be recharged or even replaced.
And how do I ensure that my battery is always ready?
Buy a voltmeter and test the voltage. If it’s below 12 volts, charge as soon as possible, something you can do by taking a long car ride. On the other hand, when driving short distances in winter, minimize the number of consumers to protect the battery. That is, avoid, for example, turning on the heating and seat heating if you are only in the car for five minutes. And if you don’t move the car much, consider purchasing a dedicated slow charger which also aids in desulfation.