Who hasn't ended up having to change a car battery on a cold Berkshire County winter morning? If you haven't you probably haven't lived here very long. It's not exactly an enviable task, especially when you have no gloves and all the wrong tools. Hopefully, you keep all the necessary tools in your vehicle, but I can tell you from experience that when you don't have that extension tool for your wrench, and you have to jimmy-rig some other tools just reach that impossible to reach bolt... it's no fun.

This is why you really need to test your vehicle's battery and replace it if it's not going to get you through the winter... before you find out the hard way.

You can blame your batteries failing on the summer heat...

According to a press release from AAA Northeast, the auto club replaces thousands of batteries every month and that number climbs as the weather gets colder, but not for the reasons you might think. Even though the winter is when most batteries fail it is the summer heat that causes damage to a battery.

Why? AAA says...

When the temperatures drop to 32 degrees your vehicle battery loses 35 percent of its capacity. When the temperatures get even colder, your engine requires up to 50 percent more energy to crank over and start all while the battery has even lost more of its strength.  

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The average car battery lasts five years but you should check it periodically...

The higher the temperatures inside a battery the quicker it degrades. Checking your vehicle battery periodically is the best way to prevent battery failure and being stranded. Once your vehicle’s battery is three years old it should be checked on an annual basis. ~ John Paul, AAA Northeast Senior Manager of Traffic Safety and the AAA Car Doctor

 

You should of course check the condition of the battery itself, but inspecting the battery cables and connections for corrosion is just as crucial. If there are any signs of corrosion, AAA's Car Doctor says that you should remove the cables and clean the connections.

Well... there is your warning. Why not check your battery now and save yourself a load of trouble when the temperatures drop and the snow begins to fall.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

 

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