Is your vehicle ready for the summer heat? With the dog days of summer here, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is reminding drivers to check on their car batteries. Because of excessive heat, drivers might experience problems with their car batteries if they’re not careful. CAA SCO reported an eight percent rise in calls from drivers about their car batteries over the last few summers. The increase in calls is believed to be associated with the high temperatures that typically affect southern Ontario.
Why Car Batteries are Vulnerable in Summer Heat
Extreme summer heat can lead to a car battery losing about 33 percent of its charge. That’s because the temperature soars under the hood as the outdoor temps heat up. On days when the temperature is 32-degrees Celsius, for example, the vehicle’s core temperature might reach close to 60-degrees Celsius. High temps can cause battery corrosion, breakdown in the charging system and structural damage.
“Many people worry about their batteries failing in the winter, but intense heat can be just as much of an issue as the bitter cold. Beyond monitoring and maintaining your battery, drivers should pay close attention to any sign of their car overheating to avoid finding themselves on the side of the road,” said Kaitlynn Furse, CAA SCO PR manager. The CAA expressed that during periods of high call volume, they will prioritize calls from drivers that are stalled on the side of the road in hot weather over drivers calling from home.
Steps to Protect Your Car Battery in the Summer Months
To avoid letting hot temperatures wreak havoc on your battery and shortening its lifespan, here are a few precautionary steps. These can prevent common issues that arise when batteries are exposed to too much heat.
- Keep the car cool: Keep your vehicle cool to extend the battery life. Park in the shade or a garage to get your vehicle away from the summer heat. Use window covers or a car canopy.
- Check your AC: Have your air conditioner routinely inspected. Take it to a certified technician if you find it’s not blowing cold air.
- Clean your battery: Clean the top section of the car’s battery. You can also clean the connections to reduce discharge. Have an auto technician show you how to clean the top of the battery and connections if you are unsure.
- Add coolant: Periodically add fresh coolant to flush the cooling system. Over time it might become acidic. When coolant is acidic, it can eat at your seals or hoses and cause damage. It can also lead to your engine overheating.
Ultimately, no one can predict or change the dog days of summer. But, a few precautionary steps can help protect the life of your car battery. Look for ways to keep your vehicle cool, add fresh coolant and clean the top of your battery. That way your car or truck battery will be ready when you gas up your vehicle for that much needed summer road trip vacation.