Why do we only think about our battery in the winter? The fact is, summer heat can be more damaging than winter’s cold temperatures when it comes to our car batteries. The cold hard truth is that when the mercury rises, a car battery’s strength goes down; Extreme heat, like 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside combined with high temperatures under the hood, accelerates corrosion of car batteries; Heat causes the water to evaporate out of battery fluid, breaking down the battery grids.
Weak batteries can struggle on for month, turning over the engine while it’s easy to start and generate a charge. The real test comes when temperatures drop. A weakened battery has to overcome cold temperatures and a harder-to-crank engine because the cold thickened the engines oil. The heats attack lowered the battery’s starting power which may call for a jump –start and possibly a replacement battery.
The following tips help you keep your battery in shape throughout the hot summer months:
- Preventive maintenance clearly prolongs the life of your battery. Refer to your owner’s manual to become familiar with what kind of battery it is and where it is located, how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car might be trying to tell you.
- When working with your battery, always wear protective eyewear. Remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect your arms from an explosion of battery acid.
- Do a visual inspection looking for bulging, cracking or leaking. It it is, it’s time to replace it.
- The summer heat can speed up internal corrosion. Clean the battery connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Be sure to brush the corrosion away from you.
- If your battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell.
- Make sure the plates are covered by the fluid inside. This prevents sulfation and reduces the possibility of an internal battery explosion.
- If the water level is low, add distilled water until the plates are covered. Do not use tap water.
Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.
- Have your battery and electrical system professionally tested every 5,000 miles or six months.
Peninsula Automotive has sold and installed Interstate Batteries for many years. With more than 15 million car batteries sold each year, Interstate Batteries is America’s No. 1 replacement-brand battery. Carried at locations worldwide, interstate Batteries are guaranteed “factory fresh” at the time of purchase and the receipt-free warranties are backed coast to coast.