There is no worse feeling than trying to start your vehicle on a cold winter’s morning only to hear the dreaded “click-click-click” of a dead starter battery.
Unless you have a genie and three wishes, there is no way that battery is coming back to life.
So, what now!? I know! Get a new one!
But where, you ask?
Let me tell you.
Why Did My Battery Die?
Three main reasons cause batteries to die in the winter.
When you try to start your car, the starter motor requires a whole lot of amps to get turning.
In normal conditions, your battery will not suffer because delivering a lot of amps over a quick time is something your old lead-acid battery can do.
But a battery that is already starting to wear out can have great difficulty in an African winter.
And even if your battery’s capacity is not decreased by its age, super low temperatures can cause even a new battery to fail to produce the amps needed to crank the motor.
More Draw from the Starter Motor
Sometimes, specifically in frigid temperatures, the starter motor’s amp requirements can be higher than usual, which can make the problem worse.
One of the problems is that the engine oil gets too thick.
When the motor oil thickens, the motor becomes more difficult to turn over, which subsequently causes the starter motor to pull more amps.
More Draw from Accessories
When you are driving in winter, you are also using more accessories such as the heater, windshield wipers, defogger, and headlamps.
Unless you have some kind of truck alternator, chances are that your battery is not getting enough charge as it’s used to in the summer.
All of these factors lead to a weary battery made worse if your battery is already old.
What Starter Battery Do I Need for Africa?
If you live somewhere like Johannesburg, Gaborone, or even Windhoek, you know just how cold those winter mornings can be.
To ensure you have the correct battery for the job, you need to look at the battery’s vital statistics.
It’s not only chilly weather that can adversely affect a battery; hot weather can be just as harmful.
We all love summer, and there is nothing better than an African summer at the Cape; unfortunately, the battery in your car does not share that same sentiment.
Scorching summer temperatures can wreak havoc on your car battery, making its lifespan significantly shorter.
So why do vehicle batteries die in hot weather?
Elevated temperatures cause the fluids in your battery to evaporate, reducing the battery’s charge and inducing plate corrosion as well as exciting the battery chemical reaction which will increase the discharge of the battery.
This will lead to crystals forming on the battery’s plates, ultimately killing your battery in good time.
Choosing a Battery for the African Climate
In Africa, weather conditions can differ significantly from place to place.
Cold Crank Amperage are the numbers that tell us how many amps the battery can pump out while cold.
Suppose the number is on the higher end. In that case, it can handle higher amperage demand than a battery with a lower number, which means it will do better in chilly weather when capacity is reduced.
This number is not as critical when selecting the proper battery if you live in hotter areas.
Battery makers also include Reserve Capacity.
In hot, arid weather, your battery’s ability to power your car’s accessories when the alternator cuts out is vitally important.
Reserve Capacity is measured by how many minutes a battery can pump out 25 amps at 26.6 C.
In the scorching summer, accessories like air-con, fans, electric windows, and radiator fan usage can increase the strain on your car’s alternator and possibly cause it to fail. If this happens, having a battery that can provide enough power to keep the vehicle running is vital.
So, when choosing a battery, these are some things to take into consideration to ensure that in winter or summer, your vehicle will start and keep on going.
Jump Start Battery Pack
Should you find yourself stranded with a dead starter battery, there’s a genius little invention called the jump start battery pack that could save your skin.
Its name says it all, it’s a portable battery pack you can use to jump start your car if the battery cannot do the job.
You can choose a jump starter suitable for your car by checking out the packaging; it will usually say what kind of car it is capable of cranking.
As discussed earlier, the cranking amperage is what we look for when determining how big of an engine the battery can start.
Should the packaging not indicate this, you can tell if it will start your car by looking at the peak amperage.
Most jump starters’ peak amperage range between 500 and 2000, but some may go up to 5000.
A regular-sized passenger vehicle or pickup truck can usually be started with about 500 cranking amps.
Light at the End of the Tunnel
No matter where in Africa you live, in the harshest heat or most bone-chilling cold, there is a starter battery to suit your needs.
You don’t have to worry about dead starts to your morning when you buy a battery from us!
We have the spark for your Spark and the crank for your Corolla; take a look at our range of exceptional all-weather batteries right now!