With temperatures falling and the cold of winter sets in, it’s important to make sure your car battery is ready.

Extreme temperatures can increase the rate of gradual discharge, which means your battery won’t hold a full charge.

In frigid temps, the oil in your engine is thicker when it’s cold, and extra power is required to run defrosters and fans for the heat, which puts added stress onto the battery.

Experts with Napa Auto parts say the best way to combat this in the winter is to drive your car regularly, at least 30 minutes to an hour, and that should restore a good charge to a low battery.

Several auto parts stores offer free battery checks, which will let you know what kind of charge it is holding.

Make sure to regularly check and clean battery terminals so they don’t become corroded and unable to transmit power properly.

Having jumper cables and an emergency kit in your car will help you prepare for the unexpected.