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maintenance July 30, 2015

How are car batteries impacted by summer heat?

How’s the summer season treating you so far? Hopefully the sun has given you a tan and not a burn! Everyone likes to have fun in the sun but unfortunately there are negative factors the summer brings as well. Dead batteries are often associated with cold weather because the low temperatures increase the thickness of the engine oil, making the battery harder to turn on. But did you know that the summer season has the highest car-battery problems?

Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate and damages the internal structure of the battery.

Follow these simple steps to prevent your car battery from failing and leaving you stranded in the summer heat:

  • If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary
  • Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified
  •  Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Also, as corrosion accumulates on the battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow
  • Don't frequently turn your engine on and off because it causes more wear on the starter 

Other factors that influence your cars battery include:

  • Driving Habits
  • Weather Conditions
  • Mileage on your car
  • The age of your vehicle

A common sign that your battery could be near the end of its usage is when you notice headlights and interior lights dim, accessories fail to operate, or the "check engine" and/or battery light comes on. Virginia Tire and Auto offers Free Battery Checks at all 12 of our locations, so drive on in to have your vehicles battery inspected!

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