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Jun 6, 2023

6 min. read

When your mechanic mentions the upcoming weather might have an effect on your car's battery, there's an excellent (and reasonable) chance you'd assume they're talking about the winter months. After all, media imagery during that time of year is filled with images of cars failing to start outside the hockey rink or sitting alone in a snowbound parking lot.

However, there's a case to be made that heat can be just as damaging to a vehicle battery. It may seem completely counter-intuitive but high temperatures also have a tendency to impact the battery performance. Here are some ideas to keep your battery in top shape and avoid a breakdown.

Complete a visual inspection.

If you're of a certain age, you may recall the days when an attendant would pop the hood of your car and check its oil while pumping fuel. Those days are long gone. However, it remains a good idea to take a minute or two and give your engine bay a quick look over every season. Even if you are not mechanically inclined, a peek under the hood can avert a mishap.

Check for signs of corrosion.

What battery-related problems should you look for under the hood? Check for obvious signs of corrosion, which looks like white or bluish/green foam. This stuff generally collects on the battery terminals, indicating a failing battery and can actually block the flow of power since it is non-conductive. Use gloves if you choose to brush some of it away yourself.

A picture of a car battery with a label on it.

Start the engine periodically to avoid a dead battery.

Completely running a battery flat does it no favours. Sure, it's great to hear tunes or charge up a device while waiting for a family member at the hardware store, but be sure to start the engine from time to time provided you're in a well-ventilated area. This will introduce a bit of juice back into the battery and keep it in good shape.

Check the engine cooling system.

All cars generate heat but an excessively warm engine bay can do a number on its battery, which contains vital liquids that can evaporate when the mercury climbs to outrageous levels. Make sure the vehicle is up-to-date with maintenance items like a properly functioning engine cooling system and engine accessory belts, both of which can help other mechanical systems reduce ambient temperature under the hood of a car. A properly functioning belt will also permit the alternator, a key component of keeping the battery charged up, to operate at peak efficiency.

Fully recharge your battery.

Quickly popping to the shop for a gallon of milk is actually not great for your car's battery. Repeated short car trips don't permit a battery to fully recharge, setting it up for early failure. Do you operate well with only short bursts of rejuvenating sleep for days on end? Exactly. While we can't eliminate all short trips, try to sprinkle them with a few longer drives if possible. If you no longer drive longer distances, consider installing a battery tender.

If all else fails, we’re here for you.

CAA's Mobile Battery Service1 will come to you. Our expert technician will test, replace and recycle your old car battery from your home, workplace or even from the side of the road. If your car battery fails the test, CAA can replace it for you - it's up to you to decide. Delivery and installation are included at no additional cost.

Plus, CAA Members save $25 on the purchase of a new CAA Premium Battery2!

Visit caasco.com/battery to learn more.

Terms and Conditions

¹CAA Mobile Battery Service Member benefit is subject to availability by geographical area. Call 1-800-222-4357 for location details. CAA Battery representatives will deliver, install and recycle your battery at no extra cost, upon purchase of a new CAA Premium Battery. ²CAA Members automatically receive Member-exclusive pricing on the purchase of a new CAA Premium Battery, compared to the retail (non-member) price.
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