Manos, it's quite funny that strange things happen to people like Flanker. (like the rabid dog in Dracula's castle). We have a guy at work similar to Mr Burns, and if it can go wrong, it will happen to him. Incidentally, he's also called Pete. (This isn't an anti-Pete thing, Pete7!).
The battery thing is peculiar, as my car lives outside, and has not had any such problem. We also keep a boat on a mooring in Devon (all winter), and haven't have any such problems as described - (good thing, as it needs the batteries for the auto bilge pumps). I guess that somehow the acid in Flanker's car battery separated from the water (perhaps from a long period of idle, or from addition of distilled water without subsequent use) and so was able to freeze. As correctly stated, acid shouldn't freeze until minus very chilly indeed. However, lead acid batteries need to be used to remain efficient. I guess that lack of use is the key here.
Anyway, we've gone a bit off subject here - I apologise to anyone reading this - most of this refers to stuff in another post.