Summer months bring a noticeable increase in drivers needing roadside assistance for a dead car battery. With proper precautions, car batteries can last three to five years. However, drivers in hotter climates may notice a relatively shorter life cycle for their car batteries. Hot temperatures can cause corrosion of car batteries’ internal components and weaken their power.
Here are a few maintenance tips to avoid heat damage to your car battery:
Keep a note of the age of your battery.
- The age of a car battery can indicate when it’s time for a replacement. The battery will have a date or an alphanumeric code that tells you when it was created. Each letter typically corresponds with a month; for example, the letter B means February.
Park in the shade or garage to avoid direct heat from the sun.
- Make sure your battery's heat barrier is securely in place under the hood.
Make sure all interior and exterior lights are off before exiting your vehicle.
- If possible, try not to frequently use electrical components such as the radio while the car is off.
Have your battery and charging system tested by an automotive specialist.
- An automotive technician can let you know how your battery is performing and if there are any weaknesses.
Drive your vehicle.
- If you do not regularly drive, try to go on at least one long trip once a week. Short driving trips are not as helpful in maintaining the battery because they don’t allow for the battery to charge fully, thus draining it over time.
These maintenance tips can help you get the best long-term performance for your car battery. It’s best to take extra precautions while it’s still convenient for you. If you do end up with a dead battery, despite your best efforts, use a battery charger that properly regulates the speed of the charge. If you’re required to replace your battery, protect the environment by having the battery recycled.