LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- With the temperatures continuing to fall across Kentuckiana and most of the east coast, many drivers suffering from a mechanical "brain freeze" in the headaches that come with their cars and the winter weather.

QUESTION

Do the freezing temperatures really drain your car battery?

SOURCES

AAA Rescue Ranger Andrew Erhart

AAA Automotive Research Center

WHAT WE FOUND

"At 0 [degrees Fahrenheit], a car's battery loses about 60 percent of its strength and at 32 degrees it loses 35 percent," the AAA Automotive Research Center is quoted multiple times as having said.

Erhart confirmed cold temperatures drain car batteries, but also told us wear and tear on batteries likely started at a time we least think about it: over the summer.

"The heat is what damages batteries over time, and it may not show up until the cold weather," he said, when asked if the heat is worse than the cold, "It is, but cars are easier to start when its warm outside than it is when it's cold. See, cold cranking amps tend to drop off as the battery gets old and then you don't have what you need to get them started when it's really, really cold outside"

CONCLUSION

We can verify cold temperatures do, in fact, drain what's left of a battery. But initial wear and tear happen during warmer months.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

AAA tells us the average life of a battery is 3 to 5 years, so if you've never replaced your battery and your car is at least 5 years old, it's time to get a new one.

If your battery falls in that 3 to 5-year window, it's recommended you have it checked -- primarily -- in the fall months before winter hits.

Many people may not have done that fall season maintenance check because Erhart estimates AAA was changing 4-500 batteries in Jefferson County a day in the recent cold snap.

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