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Be Ready. Be Charged. Be Winter Smart

CTEK’s Expert Advice On Getting Your Car Battery Ready For Winter

With colder weather just around the corner, now’s the time to get cars ready for the winter − including, say vehicle charging specialists CTEK, making sure car batteries are in tip-top condition.

woman on a phone stuck in a snowy car with a dead battery

“We may think about checking the car’s oil, brakes, washer fluid and heater, but the humble car battery is often overlooked in our winter preparations,” said Bobbie DuMelle, Executive Vice President of CTEK North America, the leading global brand in vehicle charging and battery management solutions. 

She added, “It’s important this year because car batteries were placed under additional strain during the COVID restrictions. We drained our car batteries more than usual as a result of longer periods parked at home and lots of short trips.”

CTEK’s experts offers winter battery care tips:

Be ready.

Don’t leave it too late. It can take as much as 2.5 times more power to start a cold engine, so while you’re thinking about getting those winter coats out of the closet, check your car battery too. That way, there’ll be no surprises when you take to the road. 

A battery can lose as much as 35% in performance when temperatures hit freezing, and up to 50% if temperatures sink below that. Drivers should look out for any signs of change – like the way the car starts, or the operation of the electrical system in general − as these can be indications of a weak battery.

Be charged.

There is a very fine line between a fully charged battery and a dead one, and even a small drop in charge can compromise battery health. A car battery is fully charged at 12.72V. Below 12.4V, sulphate crystals can build up, degrading the battery and reducing battery capacity. And below 10.4V, the battery may not even start the car at all. Driving the car will only charge the battery to 80% capacity. To reach 100%, a battery charger is needed. 

Be winter smart.

CTEK's portable CS FREE charger being used to start a dead snowmobile battery

Charging a car battery at least once a month prolongs its life by up to three times. Buy a reliable battery charger and get into a regular battery maintenance routine. Regular charging is even more important in the winter, as things like heated screens and seats, headlights and an increase in short journeys put additional strain on the battery. 

Invest in a charger like CTEK’s MXS 5.0 which measures battery health and then delivers the right level of power to get it working at optimum capacity, with a built-in temperature sensor that automatically adjusts the output voltage for cold conditions. 

For added peace of mind, CTEK has developed a portable battery charger, the CS FREE, that drivers can take with them and never need to worry about being stranded with a dead battery again. 

The award-winning CS FREE uses revolutionary Adaptive Boost technology to gently and safely give a dead battery enough charge to start in 15 minutes.  The CS FREE also has USB-A and USB-B ports to charge phones, computers, tablets and other devices making it the perfect addition to a winter emergency car care kit.

For more information on winter charging, and what you can do to avoid winter breakdowns, visit our winter charging section.


  • Established in Dalarna Sweden, CTEK is the leading global brand in battery charging solutions, most specifically vehicle charging.
  • CTEK offers products ranging from 12V & 24V battery chargers to charging solutions for electrical vehicles.
  • Products are sold via a carefully selected network of global distributors and retailers, as original equipment, supplied to more than 50 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and through charge point operators, property owners as well as other organizations and individuals providing EV charging infrastructure.
  • CTEK takes pride in its unique culture based on a passion for innovation and a deep commitment to supporting the transition to greener mobility, by adhering to industry-leading ESG standards.