WINCHESTER, VA- Jack Frost is stirring up an unforgettable winter, and your car battery may be feeling it more than you know.
"Today's batteries are under more of a load, under a strain," says Chris Sherwood, Senior Advisor of Kern Motor Company. "In warmer temperatures that's not so bad, but in the colder temperatures, it is going to be very hard on your battery. It will shorten the life of your battery."
AAA says their call volume increases by 30 percent in the winter, mostly about battery issues.
Car experts say today's car batteries are under more strain because of the number of computers they use; many cars use 30 or more. So, unplugging is especially important, when trying to preserve battery life.
"Unplug your cell phone charger and your iPod and your GPS charger because a lot of that is an additional draw on your battery overnight," says Sherwood.
They say warming up your car on cold mornings helps you more than it does your battery, but there are signs that you should look out for to avoid permanent damage.
"When you first get out there and start your car, if it turns over a little slower, or may make a little bit more noise when it's starting, those are all signs that you should have your battery and charging system checked," says Sherwood.
AAA says flickering or dim interior lights can also mean your battery is dying.
"These days vehicles, everything is voltage sensitive," Sherwood says. "All the computers are voltage sensitive. So, if your battery is starting to get weak and can not produce the amount of voltages required some of of those electronics and accessories that you have: the heated seats, the heated mirrors, some even have the heated steering wheels, some of that will not function properly."
Experts say paying close attention to the warning signs can spare your battery and keep you from being stranded in the cold. They also say to make sure your coolant doesn't freeze overnight, as it could damage your engine.