Save electricity and fuel
The battery is the first cause of a breakdown, especially in the winter as the energy supplier often runs dry because the power consumption is much higher. This is due to the use of lights, fans, and rear window heating which need more energy. In addition, if other power guzzlers such as heated seats or sound systems are in use, it can happen that the car consumes more power than the alternator of the car battery.
Even in the car there is no free energy
The increased power consumption also increases the fuel consumption of your vehicle in the winter. This is because the alternator has to deliver more power to the battery, and the engine has to rely more on power. 100W means an additional consumption of 0.1 liters per 100 kilometers. At 500W, the consumption increases by half a liter!
The biggest power guzzler is the fan
The fan consumes up to 170 watts in the winter. A similar amount of power is needed in a fully turned-on sound system. At moderate volume, the car radio beats only with 20 watts. The low beam needs about 125 watts, while the fog lights 110W. The heated rear window loads the battery with around 120 Watts, and the heated seats also need 100W.
Remember to turn off power guzzlers like heated seats or heated rear windows when you no longer need them. Otherwise, even while driving your battery may fail.
How to get through the winter
Disturbances of the electrical system, the electronics or the battery are often the main causes with stopped vehicles. Most often, the cars will not start. Almost every third vehicle needs a jump start due to a weak or defective battery.
Stressed electricity storage
Heating and air conditioning are the number one powerhouses in the car. More and more vehicles are nowadays equipped with both air conditioning and heated seats. That is why newer cars also have an enormous power requirement. This in turn leads to a heavy load on the battery. However, you can spare the battery by shutting down all unnecessary consumers before starting. If your battery is fully discharged it is often irreparable. This can happen, for example, when a light has been left on over night or a vehicle has not been driven for a long time. With a jumper cable or a jump starter set, the engine can then be restarted quickly. In many cases this will still not bring the battery to full power and cause a lack of power to start the cold engine at low temperatures. A new battery then becomes inevitable.
In any case, please dispose of your old battery at a recycling station so that it can be deposited of properly and no pollutants can enter our environment.
What you should consider when installing and removing the battery
Some car radios or alarm systems need to be initialized with a code after reconnecting. For this reason, be sure to read the operating instructions before removing them and make a note of the code. After changing, the radio or alarm system must be reset.
Before installation, treat the battery at the poles with acid free grease. You can also apply a protective varnish after you have clamped the battery. Both serve to protect the metallic poles against corrosion and prevent contact resistance between the poles and the terminals.
How to check and maintain the battery
The life of a car battery is between four and five years. For the performance of a car battery, the current state of charge and storage capacity is crucial. While the state of charge via the acid density can still be checked relatively easily with an acid lifter, statements about the actual capacity are only possible with special measuring devices.
Equally important is the correct acid level in the battery. For simple and older batteries, you can still check and balance this yourself. To do this, unscrew the battery lock - through the opening you can see the mark on the inner edge. If the acid level is at the bottom line, simply add distilled water.
The battery case itself should be kept clean to avoid leakage currents. The poles and terminals can be preserved with acid protection grease.