After chilly winters and spring allergies, most of us are excited about riding the heatwave of summer. However, our car batteries do not share that same sentiment. Hot summer temperatures also increase the temperature under the hood of your car, resulting in dead car batteries. On average, most batteries can last from three to five years. Car batteries in vehicles located in northern regions have a longer life cycle than those in southern areas. How exactly does weather affect your car battery?
Summer heat causes your battery fluid to evaporate. Hot weather is unavoidable, and most cars can withstand a little evaporation. Although, the main problem occurs when too much fluid is evaporated and lessens the battery’s ability to hold a charge. With extreme fluid evaporation, acid leaks can occur and corrode the battery. In severe cases, this acid can eat away at other parts of the engine.
Here are a few warning signs your car battery is starting to fail:
- Your car was operational the day before and now will not start.
- Interior lights or headlights seem dim.
- The engine takes longer to start.
- There’s a noticeable clicking, buzzing, or grinding noise when you attempt to turn the ignition.
- The battery’s check engine light is on.
- Your car battery looks larger than usual or bloated.
- The battery is over three years old.
- Your battery is corroded or has signs of corrosion.
- Upon inspection, your battery’s fluid levels are low.
If your vehicle is showing more than two of the above signs, it’s advised that you seek out a trusted automotive specialist. An automotive technician can adequately perform a diagnostic test to ensure your battery system is appropriately functioning. Some preventative maintenance tasks are relatively simple and when in doubt, it is always best to trust the experts. In the meantime, do not panic. Take some additional steps to keep your engine cool and make sure you have a well-stocked emergency kit in your vehicle. Batteries typically cause issues during the summer; a spring maintenance check is a great way to prepare in advance.