The car battery is probably the most underestimated part of a car. Usually hidden under the hood, it supplies electrical energy for the starter and numerous other electrical components such as the car radio, lights and seat heating. One thing is clear: nothing works without the car battery. Every year, millions of drivers worldwide realize this when their car breaks down. But that doesn't have to be the case.
The car battery is not only the heart of the car. It is also the number one cause of breakdowns. Especially in winter, when low temperatures cause problems for the battery: The lower the temperature, the poorer the performance - the current drops. And finally, the car battery is particularly challenged in the winter months when the ventilation system has to distribute the heat from the engine in the passenger compartment and heated windows and the wiper system draw a lot of current. Cars with aged starter batteries then often no longer start.
A fact that has further increased the problem in recent years: Modern cars have more and more new eco and comfort functions - in other words, additional electrical consumers that want to be supplied with power. Diesel engines and high-displacement gasoline engines also require particularly high cold-starting power with correspondingly high starting currents. A starter battery can therefore be used up from just four years of age.
What few car drivers know: High temperatures in very hot summers dramatically shorten the life of a battery. Drivers often get the bill in winter, when older batteries reach their limits. This is because high temperatures lead to self-discharge of the battery, which causes it to age more quickly.
Experts recommend having the car battery checked regularly by an automobile repair shop. At best, at the beginning of winter. In the workshop, not only the voltage is checked, but also the available cold start capability. If the battery does not pass this "stress test", only a replacement will help.
Regular battery checks are also recommended by Clarios: "To be safe on the road in winter, vehicle owners should have their car battery checked now and replaced by a specialist if necessary," advises battery expert Peter Szutta from Clarios. This is because battery tests help to detect battery failures in advance.