Baby it’s hot outside, and that can take a toll on car batteries. This week’s predicted 90-degree-plus temperatures can cause batteries to fail, …
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Baby it’s hot outside, and that can take a toll on car
This week’s predicted 90-degree-plus temperatures can cause
batteries to fail, or run low.
“Any time temperatures reach over 90 degrees for a few
consecutive days, we see a noticeable increase in motorists needing
assistance,” said Scott Soper, AAA Colorado’s manager of battery
services. “Summer heat accelerates the rate of fluid loss and
resulting oxidation of battery components, which can leave a
motorist stranded without warning.”
According to the Car Care Council, the average life of a battery
is 31/2 years and even shorter in warmer climates. Excessive heat
and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery
life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, which damages the
internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in
the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high
a charging rate. That's slow death for a battery.
Basic battery care can help prevent unexpected battery problems
on the road.
AAA Colorado offers the following tips:
Ensure the battery cables have a clean and tight connection to
battery terminals. Dirty, loose connections constrict the flow of
current and are a common cause of battery troubles.
Have a qualified technician check the battery fluid level. Most
batteries are maintenance-free, but battery fluid level can still
run low, leading to oxidation and a dead battery.
Have the electrical charging system tested at the same time as
the battery. A faulty alternator is one of the most common causes
of battery failure.
A trickle charger is recommended if a car is left idle for
Most vehicles have electronic components such as security
systems and clock and radio settings that drain a small amount of
energy even when the car is turned off, often as much as 1 to 2
percent per day in optimal temperatures. In time, that small amount
of constant drain on the battery adds up and can lead to a dead
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