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Features for Senior Citizens

Ten Tips for Seniors on Avoiding Auto Battery Failure in Winter Weather

Cold weather puts extra stress on vehicle battery; failure puts extra stress on driver

Feb. 27, 2012 – A dangerous situation can quickly develop for senior citizens when the car battery dies on a freezing winter day. Cold weather can influence a vehicle engine to put twice as much stress on the battery, according to Interstate Batteries, which also offers ten tips to help seniors avoid this crisis.

 “Basic battery maintenance can prevent freezing and battery damage from severe winter weather,” said Gale Kimbrough, Interstate Batteries technical service manager.

“Preventative measures - such as keeping vehicles in garages, purchasing a battery heater and choosing the right type of battery for specific regions of the country - are always helpful in conserving your battery’s life.”

Here are 10 steps every motorist should have on the winter battery care checklist:


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1. Have the vehicle battery tested at every oil change.

2. Always choose the appropriate battery for your vehicle, paying specific attention to batteries recommended for harsh winter regions.

3. Consider replacing the battery if it is approaching three to five years old; this is the average life of a battery depending on climate.

4. Use a battery charger to maintain charge levels and keep the battery in good condition. A fully charged battery will not freeze until -76°F; however, a fully discharged battery could start to freeze at 32°F.

5. Secure all connections on the battery and check for signs of corrosion. If possible, have the connections checked by a professional.

6. Inspect the battery case for signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If signs are present, it’s time to replace it.

7. Avoid damage to the battery by keeping connections tight with a snug-fitting battery in the battery tray.

8. If the battery is not a sealed model, check the fluid levels using distilled water to fill any cells that appear low.

9. Always wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect the skin.

10. Whenever possible, keep the vehicle in a garage overnight, especially in areas with extremely harsh winter conditions.

To find more information and a local Interstate All Battery Center or Interstate Batteries dealer, visit or

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