The heat of the summer takes its toll on your car battery the same way it does on you. A lot of people believe that the winter lows damage the battery more than summer highs. But that is not correct. Summer highs rather than winter lows pose the greater threat to battery life.
All batteries have a certain life and after that they have to be replaced. A lot of heat and overcharging are the two important reasons for shortened battery life. Heat is the most important reasons that cause the battery fluid to evaporate. This helps in damaging the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, which usually is the voltage regulator, allows a very high a charging rate, leading to the slow death for a battery.
When most motorists think of dead batteries that cause starting failure, they think of severe winter weather, but summer heat is the real culprit. Many battery problems actually start much before the temperatures drop. Heat, more than cold, shortens battery life.
Colder temperatures increase the thickness of the engine oil. This makes the engine harder to turn over. So in order to get it started, the battery has to have to work more. These factors lead to harder starting.
To get the most life out of a battery, we suggest the following simple steps:
Charge the battery correctly: Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate. Overcharging the battery can damage it as quickly as undercharging.
Keep it regularly checked: If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary.
Correctly replace the batteries: Always replace a battery with one that is rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
Keep the battery clean: Try to keep the top of the battery as clean as possible. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further when the corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator. This leads to inhibiting current flow which of course is not good for its life.
Maintain correct Driving Habits: Driving habits such as frequent engine on off cycles, applying undue breaks will cause more problem to the starter than a simple back and forth to work.
Other than this, there are factors such as bad driving and weather conditions, mileage, vehicle age and excessive electrical draws like in vehicle entertainment systems.
One also needs to understand the factors that keep on indicating to your battery’s condition. Check the battery if you notice headlights dim or even the interior lights dim, accessories that fail to operate. You also need to keep an eye on the check engine light and also battery light if illuminated.