There are plenty of ways you can protect your car in the summer. You can get a dashboard cover or sunshade, try to park under a tree or perhaps in the shadow of a building. But what else can you do to protect your car’s battery from the heat of the long summer months?
It turns out there are many precautions you can and should take during the increasing heat of the summer. That’s because – in spite of the fact that many drivers think winter is the peak season for car battery trouble – hot weather shortens the life of your battery more than cold. More batteries fail in July than in January, according to experts, because summer heat can kill a battery 33% faster than winter cold. In fact, extreme heat can accelerate the corrosion of your car battery.
We’ve put together tips to help you protect your car from the summer heat. So slather on the sunscreen, find your coolest pair of sunglasses and let’s check under the hood to make sure you get the most out of your battery this summer. Here’s what you can do:
- Inspect your battery.
Don’t wait until you’re stranded on the side of the road to have the overall health of your battery checked. Having your battery checked for winter wear and tear can mean all the difference between the best road trip and the worst. Inspect the brackets to make sure they secure the battery adequately and tighten any loose cables – loose brackets shorten the lifespan of the battery and can damage other components. As well, if the brackets or trays are heavily corroded, they should be replaced.
Tip: If your car’s battery is more than three years old, it’s smart to check on its condition and see if it needs to be replaced.
- Check the battery case.
Make a visual inspection of the outside of your battery case. Is it bulging, cracked or leaking fluid? If so, it needs to be replaced immediately. While you’re looking, check to see if your battery is the older type with removable filler caps on top. If it is, hot weather can make the battery fluid inside evaporate faster. A good idea is to have your old battery replaced prior to summer driving with a maintenance-free, high performance flush-top battery.
- Flush your cooling system with fresh coolant periodically.
Your cooling system can deteriorate over time and become acidic. This acidity can eat away at hoses and seals, cause damage and overheat your engine.
- Check the tension and condition of the fan belt.
A loose fan belt can diminish the battery’s ability to charge. If a fan belt is frayed or cracked, have it replaced.
- Add water.
Most batteries today are sealed and do not require you to monitor water levels. However, if your battery is not “maintenance-free,” ask the representative to add water, if necessary. Even with good care and maintenance, the life of a car battery is only three to five years. If you live in a part of the country that experiences temperature extremes, your battery life may be even shorter.
- Maintenance matters.
Performing regularly scheduled maintenance, such as oil changes, battery tests or having a full mechanical inspection, is recommended as the seasons change.
- Keeping it cool.
Batteries don’t last forever, but keeping your vehicle as cool as possible is a great way to extend the lifespan of your battery. If you can’t park in a garage, consider a carport or car canopy. Window covers are a great way to keep the heat from building up inside your cabin, too.
Following these steps will help keep your vehicle’s battery healthy. However, if battery problems do get the best of you, we can help. You can give us a call at *222 for Emergency Roadside Assistance. Our CAA’s mobile Battery Service1 will test, replace and recycle your old car battery from your home, workplace or even the side of the road! Plus, your CAA Premium Batteries are backed by a 6-year total warranty.2 Get a battery quote online to find out the price with delivery and installation fees included at no additional cost.Get a Battery Quote