Heat's Impact on Car Battery

What impact does summer heat have on your vehicle's battery?

The summer season can be demanding on your vehicle’s battery, and it’s crucial for your car, truck, or SUV to reliably start and run smoothly throughout the summer. Just as heat can affect you, it can also impact your battery. Prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures can lead to various internal problems within your vehicle's battery and may reduce its overall longevity. Here’s a breakdown of how high temperatures can take a toll on your vehicle’s battery performance.

Increased chemical activity:
Higher temperatures can accelerate the chemical reactions inside a battery. This heightened activity can lead to a faster internal discharge. This increased rate of discharge can contribute to a phenomenon known as sulfation. Sulfation is a common consequence of prolonged discharging and can lead to irreversible damage if not addressed promptly.
Plate corrosion:
The plates inside the battery are crucial for storing and delivering electrical energy. The heat can accelerate the corrosion of these plates, diminishing their surface area and structural integrity and, consequently, the battery’s overall capacity to hold a charge.
High water loss:
Elevated temperatures exacerbate the evaporation of water from the electrolyte. As water levels decrease, the concentration of sulfuric acid in the electrolyte rises, adversely affecting the battery’s overall performance and lifespan. The heat-induced water loss not only diminishes the battery’s capacity but also heightens the risk of irreversible damage, such as sulfation and corrosion.
Internal pressure:
Prolonged use in high temperatures can increase the internal pressure within the battery. This pressure buildup can result in seal damage, leaks, and, in extreme cases, pose a risk of battery explosion.
Reduced lifespan:
A combination of these factors-increased chemical activity, plate corrosion, and internal pressure can contribute to a shortened battery lifespan. Summer heat accelerates the aging process, making the battery more prone to failure.

How to safeguard your battery during the summer

There are several steps you can take to maintain battery health during the summer and minimise potential issues before embarking on your summer road trip.
Park in the shade:
Whenever possible, park your vehicle in shaded areas to reduce the direct exposure to sunlight.
Battery insulation:
Consider using battery insulators or covers designed to protect the battery from extreme temperatures.
Regular maintenance:
Keep a close eye on the charge level of your battery, especially if it is not used frequently.
Avoid overcharging:
High temperatures can increase the risk of overcharging. Limit the charge current to low when charging.
Test your battery:
Prior to embarking on your road trip, call your automotive experts to assess your battery’s health. This proactive step allows you to identify and address any potential issues before they escalate into significant problems.
Inspect for damage:
Check the battery for indications of leaks, cracks, or bulges. If any of these problems are evident, it’s advisable to replace your battery promptly to prevent unexpected breakdowns.

Understanding how summer heat can affect your car battery can make all the difference. If you have any questions about your car battery or need guidance on where to have it tested, don’t hesitate to contact Club Assist’s team of battery specialists. We’re here to help you choose the most suitable option for your specific requirements.
Explore our website for additional expert insights and have a safe road trip this holiday season.

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