There are few more frustrating experiences than a car that won’t start. The fear of what it’s going to cost to repair and of being late where ever you need to be combine to elicit quite the panic in most people. One of the, thankfully, least expensive reasons a car won’t start happens in the heat of the summer more than any other time of year. It’s a dead battery.
Why the Battery Dies in Summer
Heat shortens the battery life. A battery contains liquid. When your car is left in the hot sun, even though the battery isn’t receiving direct sunlight, the liquid in the batter will evaporate. Once the battery’s liquid gets too low, the battery will fail. There isn’t much that you can do to prevent the drying up of the battery. Most batteries sold today are sealed and don’t require topping off that older batteries did.
Tips to Prevent a Dead Battery
On average a battery should last about five years. There are a few things you can do to maximize its life.
- Clean it – Occasionally cleaning the terminals on your battery and the tops and sides will help your battery function well.
- Avoid short trips – Batteries need time to recharge and your alternator does that during a drive. Several short drives will not give your battery time to recharge and if you let it sit after those quick trips, it may not start.
- Unplug things – if you have lots of devices plugged into your car, they will drain your battery. If you’re not driving it and they don’t need power, unplug them to reduce drain.
- Find shade – Shade will reduce the heat strain on the battery. It won’t prevent a battery from draining and dying but will help extend its life.
The next time you have your car serviced, ask your technician to check the battery. They can determine if it is well charged or if it’s close to dying. They can also check your electrical system to make sure it’s charging at the correct rate.
If you think you need a new battery or wonder if its your alternator not properly recharging your battery, stop by 3166 Tampa Road, Oldmsar or schedule and appointment by calling (727) 784-3501. The professionals at Oldsmar Automotive will check your battery and let you know where your issue is coming from and propose a repair or replacement.