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Hi guys, new apprentice from QC here. I leave my tools in my car for night, but with winter coming I'm thinking if I should bring them inside so batteries don't freeze, which include the usual 12v/18v lithium power tool batteries, but also AA/AAA/9v for other stuff.

Or is that not a problem and I'm thinking too much?
 

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I don't work in your temperatures, but I always remove the alkaline batteries (AA, AAA, 9v, etc) on tools I don't use on a regular basis. Once you have a $1200 tool get destroyed by a leaking $1 battery that has been sitting you get very cautious.
 

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The only tool that I leave a battery in in my DVM that I use almost everyday, everything else comes out - summer or winter.

Cordless tools (18 volt) comes out when not in use, but stay in the truck. Mind you we don't get -30 too often around here. I do bring in romex if I know I am going to need it right away in the am, if not it stays in the truck also. I also keep inventory in my shop that if I needed to swap out some rolls I could.

Cheers
John
 

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I leave all my battery tools in the van during winter. It never gets below 40F here :). Now during the summer I often wonder if my batteries are dying prematurely in the 120F heat.
 

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The only tool that I leave a battery in in my DVM that I use almost everyday, everything else comes out - summer or winter.

Cordless tools (18 volt) comes out when not in use, but stay in the truck. Mind you we don't get -30 too often around here. I do bring in romex if I know I am going to need it right away in the am, if not it stays in the truck also. I also keep inventory in my shop that if I needed to swap out some rolls I could.

Cheers
John
Same
 

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No premature battery degradation or leaking issue (for the alkaline batteries)?
Off the top of my head the only alkaline batteries I use are in my Fluke 87 and maybe my clamp meter. I keep them up front and the usually warm up enough to use by time I get to where I'm going. I just make sure to change them out when the low battery indicator shows. About 18 months or so. All my other less used test equipment I keep in the shop and take it with me as needed.
 

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Beam Me Up Scotty
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If I need to use the battery power tools first thing in the morning, the batteries will come inside with me the night before so they're warm. If I won't need them first thing in the morning (such as renovations where there's heat), they stay in the vehicle. They still work frozen (at least the fully charged ones do...) but just at reduced power.

Now, my phone, that's a totally different story. My phones seem to like to only have 50% battery life when its -40 outside. I've had to start stashing my phone underneath my winter jacket to protect it from the extremely cold temperatures, so the battery doesn't get cold and shut down prematurely thinking it's dead.

Pro tip: if you're the only one in the van/car, store the batteries in the passenger foot well. This way, when you turn the defrost/foot heat setting on, the batteries will get warmed up, unlike if they're stored in the back of the van/car. I also have heated seats, so I have a jacket that stays on the seat, so If I need a different jacket for any reason, it is warm.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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I find that the modern lithium ion batteries perform pretty well cold. I also think they generate so much heat, they warm up pretty fast when cold. But extreme cold (subzero *F) doesn't happen much here.

Professor @HackWork had a good idea, keeping the batteries, adhesives, tape, and other things that mind the cold in a box up in the front of the truck where they'll heat up on the way to the first call. It is a good idea that I haven't gotten around to doing yet.
 

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I leave all my battery tools in the van during winter. It never gets below 40F here :). Now during the summer I often wonder if my batteries are dying prematurely in the 120F heat.
I'd be dying in 120F heat
 
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I found it was the tool that did not like the cold, I run them unloaded 10-30 seconds to warm gearboxes before using them.
 

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I found it was the tool that did not like the cold, I run them unloaded 10-30 seconds to warm gearboxes before using them.
I do the same. I remember the framers doing that with their worm drive skill saws. The ones with the oil filled gear boxes.

On another note, do car batteries warm up if you turn the headlights on before turning over the engine? I had a guy tell me that a long time ago. I think he believed it, and wasn’t bull$hitting.
 

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I do the same. I remember the framers doing that with their worm drive skill saws. The ones with the oil filled gear boxes.

On another note, do car batteries warm up if you turn the headlights on before turning over the engine? I had a guy tell me that a long time ago. I think he believed it, and wasn’t bull$hitting.
With race bikes on cold days with smaller batteries we crank the batteries for 1 or 2 seconds. Let them sit for a minute and then the bikes start up on the second try. If not you will kill the battery trying to start it and continuing to crank on the first try. Headlights might work as well as it might warm up the battery. You can tell who is new to the track on cold days as they will kill the battery every time.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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On another note, do car batteries warm up if you turn the headlights on before turning over the engine? I had a guy tell me that a long time ago. I think he believed it, and wasn’t bull$hitting.
I heard this a long time ago. I think if the battery is just cold but not low on charge it works.
 
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Professor @HackWork had a good idea, keeping the batteries, adhesives, tape, and other things that mind the cold in a box up in the front of the truck where they'll heat up on the way to the first call. It is a good idea that I haven't gotten around to doing yet.
To pick up on this, I was thinking a couple of years ago about using a "cooler" or some other insulated box to store material that could have a small DC element to keep stuff above freezing. I was imagining running it off the block heater or something if and when I plugged my van in - which is rare around here.

That idea might be worth revisiting. I was also thinking of converting one of my job boxes to a heated box to keep wire in overnight above freezing, but I don't do those large Romex jobs anymore.

Cheers
John
 
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