As hard as it may be to believe, high temperatures do pose a threat to your car battery. The heat causes the battery fluid to evaporate, resulting in damage to the internal structures of your car battery. Extreme heat, like 35°C, combined with high temperatures under the bonnet, accelerates corrosion of car batteries. So, if you’re feeling the heat this summer, spare a moment to consider what your car’s battery could be going through.
Here are some tips to help your car battery handle the heat:
- Preventive maintenance goes a long way when it comes to prolonging the life of your car battery. Why not take a few minutes to read about your car’s battery and familiarise yourself with it. Knowing what kind of battery your car has, where it is, how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car are telling you will help you in taking the necessary measures to ensuring the longevity of your battery’s operations.
- 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. 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. If you’re scared to try this on your own, ask the petrol attendant for assistance during your next fuel-up stop.
- Keep the top of the battery clean at all times! Dirt can double-up as a power draining conductor. Also, as corrosion accumulates on the battery terminals it becomes an insulator, preventing current flow. Clean up the battery connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation or paint from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush.
- Do a visual inspection to see if the battery case is bulging, cracked or leaking. If it is, it’s time to replace it! It is advisable to have your battery and electrical system professionally tested every 3 to 6 months and especially before heading out on a trip.
Usually, a car battery can last from 3 – 5 years in optimal conditions. But ultimately, your battery’s life span will be determined by your usage and other factors like how much heat it’s exposed to.