How Cold Temps Affect Your Fleet Vehicle Batteries

24 Jan 2018

Fleet vehicles are on the road in a variety of weather conditions. They are expected to perform exemplary no matter what Mother Nature has in store. However, cold temperatures can take its toll on your fleet vehicle batteries. If you don’t watch closely, it could leave your drivers frozen and out of sorts when winter’s fury flies full force.

How Does Weather Affect Vehicle Batteries?

The thing about batteries is that they are vulnerable to extreme temperatures: hot or cold. Heat accelerates the chemical process batteries go through, but also speeds up corrosion within the battery. This results in a shorter battery life.

Cold, on the other hand, slows things down. Many people experience what you might refer to as a sluggish batter during the winter months. In some cases, the temperatures may be sufficiently cold that the battery will be unable to start your vehicles. One fact many people do not know is that it is possible for the water inside the battery to freeze. This does a wide range of damage to your battery’s internal structure and ability to operate. When this happens, batteries must be replaced.

What Can You do to Prevent Cold-Weather Related Battery Issues in Fleet Vehicles?

Since Mother Nature has a mind of her own and you can’t always plan ahead for whatever cold her whims may send your way, there are things you can do to protect the batteries in your fleet vehicles to make them less susceptible to freezing when the temperatures drop, like these:

  • Maintain your batteries properly. Excess dirt and corrosion can cause the power in your batteries to drain faster making them less effective in colder conditions. Keep them clean and clear of debris. Make this part of the daily routine for drivers so it becomes a habit.
  • Buy batteries with appropriate cold cranking amperage (CCA). This number indicates how well a battery is able to deliver currents in temperatures up to -18 degrees C without diminished performance. The higher the rating, the better for your batteries if your vehicles operate in cooler climates.
  • Use a GPS fleet tracking system that offers low vehicle battery alerts. These alerts can notify you of potential problems before they become major headaches for your drivers and your schedule.

The last thing you want is to deal with drivers left out in the cold this winter. Keeping your batteries in good working order throughout the winter can be essential for avoiding this situation.

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