The cold, hard truth is that:
- Summer heat is actually harder on your battery than winter cold.
- Summer heat kills batteries 33% faster than winter temperatures.
- More batteries fail in July than in January.
- Once the outside temperatures reach 90° F, the temperature under the hood of your car can be 140° F.
Weak batteries can struggle on for months, 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 engine’s oil. The heat’s attack lowered the battery’s starting power, meaning someone’s going to have to call for a jump-start and a replacement battery — unless you get there first.
8 tips to help you keep your car battery in shape throughout the hot summer months:
The experts at GreenTec Auto offer the following automotive maintenance tips:
- Preventive maintenance goes a long way toward prolonging the life of your battery. Take a few minutes to read about your battery in your car’s manual and become familiar with what kind of battery it is, where it is, 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 to see if the battery case is bulging, cracked or leaking.
If it is, it’s time to replace it.
- The summer heat can speed up internal corrosion. Clean up 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. Don’t use tap water.
- Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.