Fight Back Against Battery Heat Fatigue

Intense heat batters a car battery. A long, hot summer will slowly drain its power until those first cold mornings of fall and winter, when the battery can do no more.

Regular inspection, clean terminals and routine testing of a battery’s charge level make all the difference, he added. Maintenance is especially important in summer, when high temperatures accelerate corrosion and can evaporate the water inside the battery.

"Summer heat is often more damaging to batteries than winter cold,” said Gale Kimbrough of Interstate Battery.

Traditionally, a dead battery could be chalked up to something as simple as leaving an interior light on overnight, Kimbrough said. Modern vehicles are more complex and could require more sleuthing to discover the source of the power drain.

The amount of driving and length of your trips also plays into battery wear and tear.

Kimbrough had the following suggestions to avoid getting stuck with a dead battery this summer:

  • Inspect your vehicle’s charging system every three months or every oil change. Batteries that are more than three years old should be tested more frequently.
  • Ask your service advisor to test the battery’s power retention capability. A weak battery may be able to turn over your vehicle’s engine at home and go dead.
  • Inspect the battery for leaks, cracks, or bulging. Any one of these symptoms means it’s new battery time.
  • Always get the battery checked before taking a long road trip. Have a professional mechanic inspect battery cables, posts and fasteners.