Stepping into your car to find out your battery is dead is never fun. While you can usually prevent a dead battery by shutting off your lights and radio when you get to where you’re going, sometimes you’re at the mercy of one of many things in life you can’t control—the weather.
The fact of the matter is, hot and cold temperatures can ruin your battery, especially if it’s already weak. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent a surprise dead battery. Originally posted in 2016 and updated in 2019 to reflect changes in the industry and maintenance recommendations, our auto experts explain what to do in the summer and winter months to ensure you’re able to count on your car battery to get where you need to go.
Warm Weather Car Battery Care
Most customers in warm, southern climates don’t realize that hot weather drains their battery. High temperatures can cause the following problems:
Shorter Battery Life
To ensure your battery’s electrolyte isn’t evaporating into thin air, check the liquid level by comparing it to the fill line under the filler cap on the battery. If you aren’t sure where to look, our expert auto technicians at Christian Brothers Automotive can check for you.
PRO TIP: If you do add fluids, be sure to add distilled water only.
Additionally, you can help prevent corrosion by cleaning the top of your battery and riding it of debris. We suggest using a scouring pad or brass brush to remove dirt and corrosion build-up.
Summer’s high temperatures can also cause a malfunctioning alternator—the part that maintains a proper charge level on your car’s battery. If this happens, your alternator can overcharge or undercharge and cause important components of your vehicle to fail. Be sure you’re ready for summer by scheduling regular maintenance in the spring. Our auto technicians can service your battery before problems occur.
Cold Weather Car Battery Care
Eventually, all climates cool down. Like hot weather, cold weather reduces the battery’s capacity and drains its power. As a result, you’re likely to encounter times on especially frigid days when your car refuses to start. To give you an idea, at zero degrees Fahrenheit, your car’s battery holds half the charge as usual.
You can help protect your vehicle from icy temperatures by limiting its exposure to the elements. Always try to park your car in a garage if possible. Fortunately, if you’ve kept your battery clean throughout the summer, corrosion during winter is unlikely. However, we recommend that you always keep jumper cables in your trunk, just in case. In a pinch, a Good Samaritan can give you a jump if needed.
How Christian Brothers Automotive Can Help
For any of your regular maintenance needs, Christian Brothers Automotive is here to help. Our expert technicians are skilled at cleaning, testing and servicing your car battery to ensure that it runs all year long. When it’s time for battery replacement, any of our nationwide locations can assist you in finding the right choice for your car or truck.
Experience the Nice Difference ® at Christian Brothers Automotive. Call your nearest location or bring your car by for service today, before the cold (or hot) weather sets in!
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