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What to Do With a Frozen Car Battery

By: StaffPublished June 22, 2021

The last thing you want to deal with after you’ve come back from a vacation is a frozen car battery due to long nights of below-freezing temperatures. The chances of this happening increase if you live in a freezing climate or your car is not stored in a heated storage area such as a garage. It’s important to know that a frozen car battery doesn’t necessarily mean a dead one and that it can be fixed. Unfreeze your car battery in these three simple steps:

Check your inspection cap.

You’ll first want to look at your inspection cap to see if the water inside your battery is frozen. If you see ice or if the battery has started to bulge, it is probably frozen.

Use sunlight and electricity.

Open the hood of your car to see if the sun shining on your battery is enough to unfreeze it. If your car is parked close to an electric outlet, try using a hairdryer to help you thaw your battery out.

Try a space heater.

If nothing else has worked so far, plug in a portable space heater using a high-density extension cord. Aim it at your battery for 30 minutes. Be sure to turn the space heater off before attempting to start your engine. Once the battery is unfrozen, allow it to warm up to at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit before trying to jump-start it. When jump-starting a car battery, it is important to take proper safety precautions. Wear gloves to avoid contact with the sulfuric acid found in cells. If the acid does get on your clothes or body, neutralize it immediately with baking soda and water. Never lean over a battery while jump-starting it. Ensure your workspace is well ventilated to avoid fume inhalation and well lit so you can see what you’re doing.

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