If you have a frozen car battery, then you may be wondering how much damage has been caused to it and whether you can still use it! In this article, not only will you learn whether you can save a frozen car battery, you’ll also learn the symptoms to look out for, the risks associated with them, and why the battery has frozen in the first place!
So keep reading to find out everything you need to know!
Can A Car Battery Freeze?
Whether a car battery can freeze or not depends entirely on how charged it is. A fully charged battery will be able to withstand temperatures as low as -50°C (-58°F) to as low as -1°C (30.2°F) the less charged the battery is.
Can A Frozen Car Battery Be Saved?
Yes, you can try to save a frozen car battery but it will depend on how frozen it is. If the battery has frozen solid, then unfortunately it’s likely that it won’t be salvageable. But if it hasn’t frozen entirely and there’s still some juice left in it then you may be able to save it.
However, in cases where your car has completely frozen, the water inside it would have expanded, which often warps and causes permanent damage to the cells.
Why Would Your Car Battery Freeze?
The reason that your car battery freezes is mainly because it’s majority water. About 75% of the liquid in your car battery is water, so if temperatures get cold enough, it will end up freezing.
However, remember that the temperature at which a battery will freeze depends entirely on how charged it is. The more charged a battery is, the colder the temperature it can withstand.
What To Do If You Have A Frozen Car Battery
If your car battery has frozen, there are a number of steps you’ll need to take in order to get it working again. However, just remember that in some cases, it may already be too late to save the battery.
Inspect The Battery For Damage
The first step is to check the battery for any damage. If you find that the battery case is cracked, bulging or leaking battery acid, then you should take it to a mechanic to see if it can be salvaged, or just replace it.
However, if the battery hasn’t been damaged, then you can move on to the next step.
Thaw The Battery Out
If you’re sure that the battery hasn’t been damaged, then you can begin trying to thaw it out. The best way to do this is to leave the battery in a warm room and wait a few hours for it to get back to a normal temperature.
However, if your car has a block heater, then you can plug it in and use that to help thaw the frozen battery out.
Recharge The Battery
Once your frozen car battery has been thawed out, the next step is to recharge it. This can be done by either jump-starting the car or by using a charger.
Using a charger is the preferred method as it will help to slowly recharge the battery, whereas jumpstarting can cause damage if not done correctly.
Test The Battery
Once the frozen car battery has been recharged, it’s a good idea to test it out. This can be done by starting up the vehicle and checking for any issues with charging or power. If everything is working correctly, then you should be good to go!
How To Warm Up A Frozen Car Battery
A frozen car battery is one of the most common winter problems, so knowing how to warm it up and get it running again can be a lifesaver.
The best way to warm a frozen car battery is by using block heaters or trickle chargers. Plugging in the block heater will help to slowly raise the temperature of the battery, and the trickle charger will help to slowly charge it back up.
You can also try to thaw out a frozen battery by leaving it in a warm room for a few hours. This should help to raise the temperature enough so that you can start your car again.
You can also try opening up the hood of your car and letting the sun warm the engine up (on clear days).
How Can You Tell If Your Car Battery Is Frozen?
A Cracked Case
One of the first signs that your car battery is frozen is a cracked or bulging case. This occurs when the water inside the battery expands and causes it to warp, which can often cause permanent damage to the cells.
Another sign of a frozen car battery is if you see that your voltage is lower than usual. This can be checked with a multimeter and is an indicator that your battery has frozen.
Finally, if you notice that the sides of your car battery are bulging then this is another sign that it has frozen. This happens when water expands inside the cells and causes them to warp.
You Can’t Hear Water Inside
If you shake the battery and can’t hear any water moving around, then this is a sure sign that it has frozen. This happens because when the water inside freezes it turns to ice, which makes it much heavier and harder to move.
The Battery Won’t Start
If your car won’t start and all other components have been checked, then this is typically a sign that the battery has frozen. This happens when the cells inside the battery freeze and can no longer create an electrical current.
Here are some frequently asked questions that people have about their frozen car batteries.
Can You Jump Start A Frozen Battery?
In most cases, it’s not recommended to jump-start a frozen battery as this can cause damage, or in some cases even cause it to explode. The best option is to use a block heater or trickle charger to slowly thaw and charge the battery.
Can You Recharge A Frozen Car Battery?
Yes, it is possible to recharge a frozen car battery. The best way to do this is by using either a block heater or a trickle charger to slowly raise the temperature and charge the cells back up.
Once the battery has been thawed out, you can then use jump-starting or a charger to help finish recharging it.
How Long Does It Take To Thaw A Frozen Car Battery?
On average, it will take about 2 to 3 hours to thaw a frozen battery with a block heater. However, if you’re trying to let it thaw in a warm room, then it could take even longer than that.
Can A Frozen Car Battery Explode?
In some cases, frozen car batteries can explode if they are jump-started. This is why it’s important to make sure that the battery has been thawed and recharged before attempting to start the vehicle.
If your car battery has frozen, the best way to thaw it out is by using a block heater or trickle charger. This will help to slowly raise the temperature and charge the cells back up. You can also try leaving it in a warm room or opening up the hood on sunny days. And remember, you mustn’t attempt to jump-start a frozen battery as this can cause damage or even an explosion.
If you follow the tips above, your frozen car battery should be up and running again in no time! Good luck!