Click, click click.

Sinking feeling.

Yep, your battery is dead. D-E-A-D.

It’s one of the worst sounds you can hear from your car, especially during winter. But it doesn’t HAVE to be that way. There are some things you can do to prevent a dead battery.

Summer is really tough on your car battery, because hot temperatures speed up the reactions of the chemicals inside your battery. Experts stay summer is the toughest season on your car, so why are there so many emergency calls for dead batteries during winter?

Starting your car in the cold, especially the extreme temperatures we have here in Ann Arbor, draws a huge amount of power from the battery – it can be as much as twice the power you’d need if you were starting your car under normal conditions. Furthermore, according to AAA’s Automotive Research Center, “at 0°F, a car’s battery loses about 60 percent of its strength and at 32°F it loses 35 percent.” No wonder calls for battery jump starts are among the top reasons for calls to AAA for emergency service.

How do you know when you should have your battery checked to avoid being stranded?

– You hear a grinding or clicking when you turn the key in the ignition
– Your car cranks really slow when you try to start
– Your headlights dim when you’re idle, but go back to full strength once you rev the engine
– Your lights dim when you run the A/C or the heat
– There is corrosion on your battery terminals
– this goes without saying, but if your battery is over 3 years old, it’s time to get it checked

Please be diligent about your car battery, we don’t want you to get stranded on the road. If you suspect your battery is on its last leg, bring it by and have it tested. It cold be your battery, or it could be a more critical/costly problem with your alternator or another electronic issues. You never need an appointment at Complete Auto Service, just bring it by.