Winter motor vehicle checklist.

How do you prepare your vehicle for the coldest time of the winter? Lights, cooling system, wiper blades including windscreen washer system, engine oil, V-belts, all antifreeze and tyres have been checked. But have you also thought about a battery check? It is important to check the battery performance periodically - not only before winter, but throughout the year. This will help you to determine the battery's state of charge, whether there is sufficient starting power in cold weather, whether it may need recharging or whether it is best to buy a new Banner starter and on-board battery straight away. Check the battery regularly when you bring your vehicle in for repair, maintenance or service. Many Banner sales partners offer a (free) battery test.

You will always find further helpful tips and information with real added value in Banner Battery Knowledge - with the aim of avoiding starting difficulties or total battery failure at all costs.

Besides the cold, there are 2 main factors associated with starting difficulties:

  • a low-performance starter battery and
  • viscous engine or transmission oil.


The battery has its greatest performance capacity at an ambient temperature of approx. +25 to +27 degrees Celsius.

Many batteries fail only in the cold season. Why?


The colder the temperature, the lower the battery’s performance, as the chemical processes take place more slowly. The engine also prefers warm temperatures. The engine oil is thin and the friction is lower. The energy required for starting increases enormously in colder temperatures. Cold starts in winter can be made more difficult by engine oils with a high viscosity. These become increasingly viscous in hard frost and the starter (starter motor) then has a hard time getting the engine moving.


Consequently, the highest starting power is required when the battery has a much poorer performance due to temperature.

Battery performance
Energy requirement of the engine on starting

Make a note of it.

If you take care of the battery in winter, you can prevent annoying battery failure.


That’s why the rule for cold starts is: switch off the radio, fan, headlights, rear window and seat heating, i.e. all additional power guzzlers, and depress the clutch before starting.

To save the battery, the energy consumers should also be used as sparingly as possible while driving, – with the exception of low beam, of course, which is particularly important in the dark winter months.

Also helpful: fully synthetic, low-viscosity, low-viscosity engine oil. – Please always observe the recommendation in the vehicle manufacturer’s operating instructions. This oil spreads more quickly and makes the engine run more easily after a frosty night. Positive side effect: according to the manufacturers, synthetic oil can reduce power consumption by up to 25%.

Get even more power out of your battery with these 6 tips.


Prerequisite for avoiding starting problems in winter: A powerful and well-charged starter and on-board battery that supplies your car reliably with its starting and on-board system power needs. Start after start, ride after ride.



Banner tip:

Engine cold start - depress the clutch or not?


In vehicles with a manual transmission, many drivers depress the clutch when starting, while others don’t. What is the optimal approach?

We will now try to clarify this frequently asked question.

The question of a depressed clutch when starting does not arise at all with many modern start-stop vehicles. This is because depressing the clutch pedal is mandatory, otherwise no engine start is possible.

With older vehicles, on the other hand, it is often possible to start the engine without depressing the clutch. In most cases, however, this is not recommended by the vehicle manufacturers. One of the reasons in connection with the battery is this: when the clutch pedal is depressed, the resistance that the starter (starter motor) has to overcome decreases. When the clutch is disengaged, the gear wheels of the gearbox are not moved, which would otherwise require a lot of energy from the starter battery, especially when the gearbox oil is cold.

Conclusion: depressing the clutch pedal can make the engine cold start much easier.

The Banner Buffalo wishes you a safe start and a safe journey.

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