Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. Can a Car Battery Freeze?

Can a Car Battery Freeze?

frozen battery

It takes some pretty extreme temperatures, but a frozen battery is possible. That’s why winter car maintenance is so important, and why it’s vital that you make sure that your battery is fully charged. If it has a full charge, your battery can withstand temperatures as low as 76 below zero. If it’s fully discharged though, (in other words, it has a charge of 12 volts or less), it will freeze at the same temperature that water freezes. If you think that there’s a huge difference between a fully charged and a fully discharged battery, you’d be mistaken. There’s actually only about 8/10 of a volt difference.

The typical 12 volt battery has six cells, and if even one cell is damaged, the voltage will drop to the point where the battery is fully discharged. Battery fluid is made up of about 75% water, and 25% sulfuric acid. The acid works with the lead plates in the battery to make electricity, and the water is mainly discharged, and susceptible to freezing. Then, when the water freezes, it expands, pushing the lead plates together and ruining the battery. That’s why proper battery care is vital during the winter months.

YourMechanic can use a voltmeter to check your battery. Consider it a routine part of your winter car maintenance. A frozen battery is a definite possibility, and one that you want to avoid if you’re counting on your car to deliver you to where you want to go over the course of the winter.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...
P0477 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Low
P0477 code means that the PCM has detected an abnormally low voltage reading often due to the exhaust back pressure control valve circuit.


Related questions

Q: Q: Car won't start

A battery can be 'dead' or have internal problems where a jump-start cannot help start the vehicle. A simple battery charge + test can help determine if the battery is the cause of the issue. Normally batteries last anywhere from...

Q: Car stalls and needs servicing.

I did a thorough investigation on this car model and there doesn't seem to be any explicit problems with this particular model. It could be that there is a possible purge valve problem after fuel tank refilling could cause liquid...

Q: I did a diagnostics test and the code was P0562. The fan stays on, what can I check to fix the problem?

Hello. P0562 is the trouble code for low system voltage. If the computer detects that the overall electrical system's voltage is low, it will set off the Check Engine Light to notify the driver of the issue. The most common...