Winter BMW Care: What Happens to a Car Battery in the Winter?

Published 7 months ago — by Lisa Federico

Holiday Travel Check List

Keep your battery running in freezing winter temps!
Photo Credit: Carodean Road Designs

What does a car battery actually do?

Obviously, we all know the battery in your BMW serves as a crucial component that provides electrical power to various electrical systems in the vehicle. The main functions include, starting the engine, powering lights/radio/windows/AC/etc, and voltage stabilization.

What happens to a car battery in the cold weather?

Cold weather can have several effects on the battery in your BMW, potentially impacting its performance. You may notice the engine is difficult to start in the winter months. Why? Because of the make-up of the battery and its chemical reaction to energy stored. This chemical reaction in the battery makes electricity slow down when the temperature drops, because it is temperature sensitive, causing difficulty in producing max power from the battery. Also, cold temperatures can cause engine oil to thicken, making it more difficult for the engine to turn over, which puts additional strain on the battery.

How do you prolong battery life in cold weather?

There are several things you can do to help extend the life of the battery in your BMW, to help keep it running at optimum performance in the winter.

  • Clean It: All terminals and components should be clean and dry, to avoid any corrosion.
  • Charge It: Regularly charging the battery will keep it from freezing, so it performs at the correct rate.
  • Warm It: By parking your BMW in a garage. You can even insulate the battery to help reduce the impact of cold temperatures.
  • Hydrate It: Make sure the battery fluid is reading at the proper level, top off with distilled water if necessary.
  • Limit It: Upon start up, minimize the use of any lights, the heater and/or seat warmers to reduce the load on the battery.
  • Repair It: Be sure to keep up with regular maintenance and repairs for your BMW throughout the year, it is really the best thing you can do.

Regular maintenance, such as checking the battery's condition and ensuring a proper charging system, is crucial to the overall performance and reliability. Find a nearby BMW repair shop to help you with this.