Help your car battery beat the heat

Contrary to popular belief, the summer heat is tougher on your car battery than the winter chill. This is largely due to the corrosion processes that take place. Batteries are damaged by the summer heat, which causes failure to start in winter, which is when higher starting currents are required.

While various factors contribute to this damage, South Africa’s trusted battery specialists have narrowed it down to the following two major factors.

Hot weather could contribute to a common problem in car batteries – overcharging. The heat causes the internal voltage regulator and alternator to allow overcharging of the battery, which causes a slow death of your car battery. This can result in your battery failing, and often at the most inconvenient time if Murphy’s Law has anything to do with it.

The heat can cause the positive grids of your battery to corrode and deteriorate slowly. This results in a gradual reduction of cranking power, finally reaching the point where your car does not start.

It is tempting to think that while your car starts, nothing could possibly be wrong, but a faulty battery can strike at any time. In addition to the unexpected failure of your battery, a faulty battery could possibly cause further damage to your car by impacting components such as the onboard computer systems and possibly the Engine Control Unit (ECU).

Preventing damage to your car battery
You may not be able to avoid the heat, but good maintenance will go a long way to help minimise potential damage.

  • Routine inspections: Be sure to have your battery, alternator and starter assessed at least twice a year. This is proactive and is done for free at any Battery Centre countrywide.
  • Keep the terminals clean: By keeping the terminals clean, you prolong the life of your battery. Do so at least once a month by using a mixture of baking soda, water and an old toothbrush to scrub the grime off the terminals.
  • Turn off all electric components when you turn off the car: Always be sure to turn off the radio, unplug mobile chargers and check that the lights are turned off before getting out of your car.

What to do if your car battery is faulty
Consider having a faulty battery replaced by South Africa’s trusted battery specialists. Not only will they give you a full report on the health of your battery, they are the trusted supplier to most OEM’s.