You never realize how much we take the simple things, like your car starting, for granted until the day you get in your car, turn the key (or push the button) and nothing happens. Your battery is dead. Now what are you going to do?

Obviously a dead battery can happen any time of the year, but the odds increase when the temperatures drop.

The weather doesn't turn cold without some warning, so preparing your vehicle is the best way to avoid an untimely dead battery. The battery is something we don't think about not working, until it doesn't.

Just like changing your oil, checking your tire pressure and filling your washer fluid, checking on your cars battery should be added to your car maintenance checklist. Sometimes things just happen and no matter what you do, it may've just been that battery's time to pass on.

Here are some ways to prevent having to jump your vehicle or buy a new battery when the weather gets cold.

  • Park in the garage or at least park where your vehicle is out of the wind.
  • Wait to turn on all of your accessories until your alternator has a chance to charge your battery
  • Run a trickle charger on your battery overnight
  • Keep your battery clean and clear of corrosion and ensure your connections are tight
  • Take your vehicle in to have your battery tested before a cold snap

If you've done everything you can to make sure you're battery is taken care of, but it's still dead as hammer, here are your options.

Here are Cars.com's suggestion tips to jump start your vehicle with the help of others (video tutorial below)

  1. Pull the running vehicle nose to nose with your vehicle keeping them about 18" apart
  2. Make sure both cars are in park and the emergency brake is on
  3. Connect the red cable to the positive side of the dead battery
  4. Connect the other end of the red cable to the positive side of the good battery
  5. Connect the black cable to negative side of the good battery
  6. Connect the opposite end black cable to a ground (a metal section of car like a bracket or bolt away from the battery) somewhere on the car with the dead battery
  7. Start the working vehicle and let it run for a minute or two to help build up the charge
  8. Now attempt to start the car with a dead battery (it may take a couple tries)
  9. When the car starts, disconnect the cables in the reverse order that you connected them. (don't let the clamps touch)
  10. Drive your vehicle to allow the alternator to charge the battery

Jump starting your car using a jump start box

Technology has changed how you can jump start your car. If you don't have the option of using another vehicle, the jump start box is a great backup. You can buy one for around $100 (you can find them cheaper or more expensive, make sure you get the proper one for your vehicle). Before you begin, make sure you have your box is fully charged.

(video tutorial below)

  1. Connect the red clamp to the positive post of the dead battery.
  2. Connect the black clamp to a ground (a metal section of car like a bracket or bolt away from the battery) somewhere on the car with the dead battery
  3. Once everything is connected, turn the jump-starter on as directed.
  4. After a minute or two, start the car.
  5. If the engine doesn’t start, let sit for a few minutes to give the battery time to charge and try again.
  6. The car started? Fantastic.
  7. Turn off the jump-starter’s power switch.
  8. Remove the clamps in reverse order; black clamp from the grounded surface, red clamp from the dead battery.
  9.  Recharge the jump-starter

If you're battery is shot and a you have to buy a new one, make sure you buy a battery that is right for the area. In areas that have winter weather like ours does, you want to make sure you get a battery that will be beneficial here.

NAPA recommends the following when you're looking for the best battery.

  1. Pick the right Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) - This rating describes how well your battery will crank in extreme cold weather conditions.
  2. Check the Reserve Capacity (RC) - This is rated by how long your battery can keep pumping out at least 25 amps in warmer temperatures to make sure you can continue to run the extra accessories.
  3. Lifespan in certain climates - Battery makers work hard to make sure they're giving you what you need to make your battery last. Make sure you're picking the battery that will give you the best lifespan for year round use.

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