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 Post subject: Cold weather effect on alternator/battery?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2006 4:53 pm 
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Neon Enthusiast
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Joined: Tue Sep 06, 2005 2:51 pm
Posts: 704
Location: Calgary, Canada
It was very cold here today, about -40C (-40F). I plugged the car in for 2 hours before I left and it started no problem. I then drove for half an hour, parked my car, went to class and came back 2 hours later. I try to start my car but it wouldn't crank, so I got a boost and was on my way. For the whole half hour drive (about 25km or 15miles) the battery light was on and my gauges would frequently reset themselves.

I found that under 3000rpm my gauges were fine and worked normally. But when I went over 3000rpm my gauges would start resetting until they just stopped moving at all. Does this having anything to do with the alternator charging?

I did read the battery light sticky, but am wondering if this is only a temporary problem because of the extremely cold weather. I have never had the battery light come on before. Is there any reason the battery light would come on in cold weather?

I did take the battery out and it's sitting inside my warm house, that will help it keep whatever little charge it has right?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:11 pm 
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Neon Enthusiast

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Location: Santiago de Chile
Physics at -40 maybe tend to be different when poor connections are present (I mean grounds, posts). The other point is the isolator located just on top of batt hanging in the lid?, is there?

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:30 pm 
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Neon Enthusiast

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Location: Lexington, MA
Batteries lose a lot of capacity vs temperature. But I don't see why the light would come on because of temp, except for a connection that gets worse with temp, or an internal battery problem, or a battt temp sensor problem.

Keeping batt warm will keep capacity higher for the first start.

Typical advice: Clean the connections bright and shiny, tighten them up. Get batt tested. Use a digital voltmeter to see if charging v is 14 or so. Move to warm climate. (Wish I could!)

Jerry


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