Automotive service professionals know that a car’s battery is as likely to fail in summer as in winter.
Consequently, as the high heat and humidity moves across Ontario and other parts of Canada this week, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) is reminding motorists to check their car batteries, to ensure their vehicles are ready for the summer heat.
Over the last few years CAA SCO has seen an eight per cent increase in car battery-related calls during summer months. The increase is connected to the extreme temperatures affecting southern Ontario.
“Many people worry about their batteries failing in the winter, but intense heat can be just as much of an issue as the bitter cold,” says Kaitlynn Furse, manager of public relations for CAA SCO. “A car battery can lose its charge 33 per cent faster in extreme heat compared to the frigid winter, draining the power necessary to start the car.”
As the temperature outside your vehicle increases, so does the temperature under the hood. During an average 32 C day, temperatures in your vehicle can exceed over 60 C. High heat can lead to structural damage, corrosion and the breakdown of the charging system.
“Beyond monitoring and maintaining your battery, drivers should pay close attention to any sign of their car overheating to avoid finding themselves on the side of the road,” continued Furse.
Extreme heat can weaken a vehicle battery and shorten its lifespan. Keeping your vehicle as cool as possible is a great way to extend its lifespan. If you can’t park in a garage, consider a carport or car canopy. Window covers are a great way to keep the heat from building up inside your cabin, too.
Service professionals should, of course, recommend battery checks as part of regular service inspection any time a vehicle is in for regular service.
Here are some additional tips from CAA:
- Clean the top of acar battery and the connections to prevent discharge.
- Flush cooling systems 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 avehicle’s air conditioning is not maintaining the interior temperature well, it may mean the refrigerant level is low. Have the 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.