Car Help 101 is back! In this installment of your favorite car health tips: how to keep the summer heat from killing your car battery. Now, most of you are probably aware of the havoc that very cold weather can wreak on your car battery. A good number of you have probably experienced a failure to get your car started on a cold winter morning due to the battery not providing a charge, but you may not have been aware of the fact that the summer heat can do just as much damage to your car’s battery as the winter cold.
So, what happens to your battery in the heat? Well, the heat can cause the fluid inside of your battery to evaporate which then causes the charging component of the battery to fail and actually can cause the battery to charge at too high a rate and thus destroy itself.
In order to avoid this situation which may very well lead to a trip to your local auto shop or auto center, you should always make sure to keep the terminals on your battery clean as corrosion can insulate the battery further which can cause damage by inhibiting current flow (to clean battery terminals you can actually use regular cola, which gives you some indication of how acidic the popular drink really is).
It’s also important to make sure that you don’t allow your battery to charge faster than it is designed to. If you do find your battery dead, make sure that you use a charger that has a mechanism which is designed to regulate the speed of the charge. Another obvious means to avoid an unwanted trip to your local auto shop for a new battery is to park your car in temperature controlled garage, though this option is obviously not available to everyone.
If you do end up with a dead battery despite our best efforts to prevent that with our car help tips, you should always make sure to recycle your battery. Most auto supply centers will allow you to do this or you can bring it to your local auto shop if they offer this service. Don’t just toss your old lead acid battery in the dumpster, because it can wreak some serious havoc on the environment if the acid leaks out and leaches into the soil or water.