Summer Battery Tips

Why is it that people only tend to think about their car battery in the winter? The fact is, summer heat can be even more damaging than winter’s cold temperatures when it comes to car batteries. And yet, few people give batteries a thought during the heat of summer.

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.

The following tips can help keep your battery in shape throughout the hot summer months:

  • 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 make the battery fluid evaporate faster and speed up corrosion. Clean up the 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. This prevents sulfation and reduces the possibility of an internal battery explosion.

  • If the water level is low, add distilled water (avoid tap water) until the plates are covered.

  • 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 three to six months and especially prior to heading out on a trip.

Special thanks to Interstate Batteries for this list of suggested summer maintenance. Dixie Battery is happy to perform all these services at no charge to you.