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How to Prepare Your 12V Battery for Cold Weather Driving

Nov 06, 2023

If you live in a colder climate, you know how important it is to prepare your vehicle for winter driving. We’re quick to think about changing over to winter tires, installing winter wiper blades and topping up windshield washer fluid, but it’s also important to make sure your 12-volt battery is in optimal condition to combat the colder weather.

Toyota Batteries in Cold Weather

Not only does the 12V battery start your vehicle and keep it running, it also powers your climate control, infotainment, lights and much more. By planning ahead with regular maintenance, preparation and knowing what to look for, you can ensure your battery stays running at its best throughout the colder months.

Car batteries and cold weather: Why is winter harder on batteries?

During colder temperatures, especially at 0ºC and below, a battery can lose a big portion of its strength. The battery must work harder to create and hold the charge that powers your vehicle’s starter, keeps the engine running and provides electricity to run different systems. Plus, if your battery is nearing the end of its 4.5- to 5-year lifespan, it becomes even more difficult for it to power the vehicle, which can result in a dead battery.

Did you know?

Just like regular gas vehicles, Toyota Electrified vehicles (EV) also have 12V batteries under their hoods, which are impacted by colder weather and require the same care and preparation.

Preparing your vehicle’s battery for the winter season

While we can’t control the weather, we can take steps to prepare ahead. Bringing your vehicle in for a 12V Battery Health Check at your local Toyota Dealer is always a good idea. Toyota University Trained Technicians will inspect your 12V battery and evaluate the electrical charging system. They will also inspect and test your battery’s life and assess its risk of failure.

If your vehicle needs a new battery, your Toyota University Trained Technician will replace it with a Toyota Premium Battery, which ensures optimal performance and reliability while providing the right specifications such as cold cranking amps and reserve capacity.

Whether you drive a gas vehicle or Electric Vehicle, Toyota University Trained Technicians will perform a 12V Battery Health Check at your 24-month or 36,000 km service appointment

Here are some additional tips to be mindful of when preparing your vehicle’s battery for cold weather:

  • Check your battery’s terminals for corrosion – your battery may be healthy, but corroded terminals can result in a failed connection
  • Make sure accessories within your vehicle, such as the radio and lights, are turned off when not in use to avoid draining the battery
  • Do not disconnect your battery if it’s going to be sitting idle for an extended period of time
  • Always keep a winter safety kit with jumper cables in your vehicle

TIP: Toyota Roadside Assistance is a phone call away, providing services like battery boosting, towing, tire changing and more.

Toyota Battery for Driving in Cold Weather

Take charge this winter

Now that you have a better understanding of 12V batteries, you’re ready to drive through the season with confidence.

If you’re unsure about your battery’s condition, book a 12V Battery Health Check with your local Toyota Dealer to have a Toyota University Trained Technician take a closer look. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your battery or vehicle, Toyota Experts are here for you.

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