Summer’s Sizzle Can Take a Toll on Your Car’s Battery

It seems contradictory, but summer heat can be tougher on your vehicle’s battery than the cold grip of winter. That’s because high temperatures can zap your car’s battery by weakening its charge, and lead to structural damage and corrosion.

According to CAA South Central Ontario, a vehicle’s battery can lose its charge 33% faster in extreme heat compared to the frigid winter. Moreover, when the temperature outside reaches 32 degrees C on a hot summer day, the temperature inside your car can hit 60 degrees C or higher. Car batteries are designed to last from three to five years. Getting your battery inspected by a certified technician as part of your vehicle’s routine maintenance is essential, especially if you’re planning a family road trip this summer.

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Keep Cool and Carry On

CAA offers the following tips to drivers to maximize your car’s readiness for the summer months ahead:

  • Have your car, and its battery, regularly maintained.
  • Keep your car cool by parking in a garage, carport, or under a canopy. If these are unavailable, even a large tree can give the shade needed to keep cool. Window coverings will help keep the cabin of your car cool too.
  • Clean the top of your car battery and the connections to prevent discharge.
  • Flush your cooling system with fresh coolant periodically. Coolant can become acidic over time which can eat away at hoses and seals and lead to an overheated engine.
  • Keep an eye on your vehicle's air conditioning. If it is not maintaining the interior temperature well, it may mean the refrigerant level is low. Have your air conditioning system inspected by a certified technician.
  • Ensure your tire pressure is spot on to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Driving with improperly inflated tires affects the handling and braking of a vehicle. It can also cause tires to overheat and increases the chance of a blowout.

Does Your Vehicle Have the Right Battery?

If you’re thinking of buying a new battery for your vehicle, start by checking your owner’s manual to ensure you purchase the right kind of battery for your car or truck. Most gas-powered vehicles use either a traditional lead-acid battery or an absorbed glass mat (AGM) battery.

And take note: you can recycle an old lead-acid car battery. Bring your discarded battery to the repair shop or retailer you purchase a new one from to dispose of it but be mindful of the safety precautions outlined in your vehicle owner’s manual if you are going to remove and transport a dead battery.

Your Auto Insurance Needs Checkups Too

Like your vehicle and its battery, your auto insurance needs attention too. Compare auto insurance quotes today to find the best price for the type of coverage you need.

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