Colorado is in for some hot weather. Temperatures are expected to climb into the 90’s the next couple weeks, which can wreak havoc on car batteries. Believe it or not, heat is more detrimental to batteries than cold. Extreme weather can put a strain on your battery that can shorten its life. Summer heat evaporates critical fluids, weakens internal battery components and contributes to overcharging. As a result, your battery life decreases significantly.
Here are a few steps you can take to prevent your battery from dying in the extreme conditions.
- Automotive batteries last longest when maintained at or near a full state of charge. Repeated or significant discharging will cause it to fail sooner. Try not to let your car sit idle for more than a few days. If you must leave your car unused for a couple weeks, be sure to invest in a Battery Tender charger to keep it fully charged.
- Driving habits also play a factor on a car’s battery life. If you’re frequently turning the engine on and off, that will cause a lot of wear on the starter.
- Accessories can quickly drain battery life. Make it a habit to turn off any add-ons such as radios, navigation systems, media players and other electrical devices before you turn off the engine.
- Battery longevity is best helped by consistent care and cleaning. As part of your routine maintenance, have a technician clean any corrosion from your battery terminals, case, brackets and the tray that holds the battery. Also, have a technician tighten loose cables and brackets, and replace worn or damaged alternator drive belts that would diminish the system’s ability to recharge the battery.
- Be Aware of the warning signs. A battery will send signals of its impending death, you just have to know what to look for. Does the starter motor crank the engine more slowly than usual? Do you hear a grinding, clicking or buzzing when you turn on the ignition? Do headlights dim when you are idling but brighten when you rev the engine? If you answer yes to any of these, it’s time to get that battery checked.
If you suspect something is wrong, you can schedule a battery check through AAA. A certified technician will come to you, free of charge, to test your vehicle battery and starting and charging systems. If the test indicates that it’s time to replace your battery, you can purchase a new high-quality AAA battery, at a AAA member discount, and have it installed on the spot for free. AAA batteries are competitively priced compared to batteries with comparable quality, and come with a 72-month limited nationwide warranty. In addition, every battery that AAA replaces is recycled to protect the environment.