Car batteries and the summer heat

At some point in your driving life you will have got into your car and found that the battery is dead. It is inevitable at one time or another, no matter how careful you think you have been. The question is: are you doing the right things at the right time? While we are more familiar with car batteries dying over the cold winter months, the reality is that it is during the summer heat that our car batteries suffer the most. With the exceptionally hot summer that we have had so far this is now the time to give our car batteries a little more attention so that they do not suffer now nor let us down in the depths of winter. Let’s take a look at how to do this:

Keeping things cool

It may sound obvious, but it probably isn’t the first thing we think about when it comes to finding a shady parking spot. Heat wreaks havoc on the chemicals that make up your battery and the higher the temperature, the faster the degradation. Parking in the shade rather than under a hot summer sun will help keep temperatures down under the bonnet and slow down that chemical breakdown. If you have a garage at home keep your car parked inside even if you are only stopping for a short time. Your car battery will thank you. The bonus with this approach of course is that you come back to a cooler car rather than what may feel like an oven.

Cut down on short trips

We hear and talk a lot about this for air quality reasons, but cutting down on short trips – and the more frequent turning over of the engine – will also benefit your battery. Shorter trips means that your alternator does not have enough time to fully recharge your battery so the next time you start the engine will only drain it more.

Think about what else you are running

By that we don’t mean essentials such as air conditioning! Everything that you use in your car will take something out of the battery. From the sat-nav, to your music system, and charging your phone while on the move will contribute to battery drain so if you can avoid it then you will be helping to prolong your battery’s life.

Keeping your battery clean

Removing any dust, dirt, leaves, or grease takes away some of the things that will trap heat and raise your battery’s temperature. You don’t need to use any fancy chemicals or spend too much time, a simple wipe with a rag or paper towel will suffice.

Regular checks and charging

Keeping a close eye on the fluid levels of your battery as well as checking for anything out of the ordinary, such as leaks or cracks, will also prolong its life. If you can’t avoid short journeys a battery charger may be a good idea to help keep it healthy for longer.

For more advice on batteries or how to look after your car in the summer heat just talk to our mechanics at Double Dee Autos. We are just a phone call away on 020 8460 3040 if you prefer to make an appointment, or you can just bring it in and we’ll get you up and running again in no time.