As ongoing blasts of heat blanket many parts of Canada, automotive professionals should be aware of the potential spike in battery failures.
For its part, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is predicting high call volumes to peak,.
“Many people worry about their batteries failing in the winter, but intense heat can be just as much an issue as the bitter cold,” says Kaitlynn Furse, manager of public relations for CAA SCO. “The summer months are typically the second busiest time of the year for calls for service.”
Extreme heat can weaken a vehicle battery and shorten its lifespan. It’s best to have a charging system test performed to check, not only the battery but the entire electrical system of your vehicle. The average lifespan of a vehicle battery is three to five years.
Car care tips during the summer months:
- Extreme heat can cause water in the battery’s acid to evaporate, which can drain the power necessary to start the car.
- During the sizzling summer months, a car battery can lose its charge 33 per cent faster than in the frigid weather.
- Clean the top of your car battery and the connections to prevent discharge.
- Flush your cooling system with fresh coolant periodically. It can deteriorate over time and can become acidic. This acidity can eat away at hoses and seals, cause damage and overheat your engine.
- If your vehicle’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature as well as it once did, it may mean the refrigerant level is low. Have your air conditioning system inspected by a certified technician.
- Driving with improperly inflated tires affects the handling and braking of a vehicle. It can also cause tires to overheat and increases the chance of a blowout. Motorists should check tire pressure, and inflate the tire according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
On an average summer day, CAA SCO receives approximately 3,500 calls for service.
During periods of high call volume, CAA services high priority calls first – those drivers stranded on the roadside in the heat and humidity – prior to those in the comfort and safety of their homes.