More automobile batteries fail in the heat than in the extreme cold, and hot-weather conditions can cause more stress on a battery than frigid temperatures. With temperatures at their annual highs, motorists can protect and care for that part of the vehicle a driver depends on most every day.
Battery temperatures under the hood of an automobile can reach 175 to 200 degrees in extreme conditions, affecting the corrosion factor within the battery. The extreme heat can make the acid and the fluid inside the battery expand, which can cause it to start leaking, and that leads to battery failure in the long run. It’s important for motorists to take the necessary precaution of getting their vehicle battery checked on a regular basis, especially before taking off on family trips.
As engineering and technical services manager for Interstate Batteries for more than 25 years, Gale Kimbrough is the hot-weather expert with some helpful guidelines to follow when caring for the automobile battery:
1. Wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect skin from a battery acid explosion.
2. Inspect the battery case for signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If signs are present, it’s time to replace the case.
3. Clean the connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Make sure to brush the corrosion away from the body.
4. If the battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell.
5. Make sure the plates are at least half covered. This prevents sulfation and reduces the possibility of an internal battery explosion.
6. If the water level is low, add distilled water (avoid tap water) until the plates are covered.
7. Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.
8. Have the battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months, especially before heading out on a trip.
In just 30 seconds, Interstate All Battery Center locations provide motorists with a free printout analysis of the vehicle battery condition. To find information and a nearby Interstate Batteries dealer or Interstate All Battery Center, visit www.interstatebatteries.com.