It’s safe to say that all of us have been there. In a rush to get to an important meeting at work, running out the door and jumping in the car. You sit down, stick the keys into the ignition, and turn to get it started… Instead of hearing the engine start up, all you hear are some soft clicking noises. Your car is refusing to start.Traditional wisdom suggests that dead batteries are the product of frigid winters, but did you know that the heat of summer months can be equally, if not more, damaging to your car’s battery?
A little known fact is that studies indicate that car batteries in colder areas have a life expectancy of around 60 months. On the other hand, those in hot regions, average only around 30 months. This is mostly due to chemistry inside the car batteries. In hot climates, the battery starts to discharge spontaneously within 24 hours. This same process takes place in colder climates, but it takes considerably longer – few days. A dead battery in hot weather is thus, a distinct possibility. Here are five ways to improve your changes and keep your battery alive in even the hottest climate.
Park in Shade
Because the high heat is so damaging to you car’s battery, always try to park in a cool, shaded parking spot. Of course, this one’s common sense. It’s a no brainer that parking in the shade will keep the interior of the car significantly cooler!
Do Not Drive Short Distances
Always plan your trips accordingly. Taking longer trips will increase your driving time. You should opt for bicycle or walking for the shorter trips because short distance driving will destroy your car battery much quicker. The science behind this is that while driving, the alternator charges the battery. This process is takes a relatively long time which means that increasing your driving time will give the alternator more time. Short trips with many stops and starts don’t allow sufficient time to charge the battery.
Decrease the Demand on Car Battery
Our cars have become our second homes or offices. It seems like there’s always five things going on at once. Almost everything in our cars demand electricity, which of course, comes from the battery. Between satellite navigation systems, DVD screens, phone chargers, car’s own computer and electrical systems, we ask a lot of our car’s battery. Keep this in mind when you’re adding new devices or plugging new things into car’s charging sockets. Only use what you really need and this will lower the demand on your car battery, and in result, greatly prolong its life.
Keep Battery Clean
The battery is typically located within the engine compartment and this typically isn’t too pretty… It’s common to find this compartment covered in dirt, oil, and grease. These substances can build up on your battery’s terminals and act like insulators. This will potentially even lower the charging capacity of your battery even more which ends up in shortening its life. The build up of dirt and grease can also act like a heat trap; keeping the battery even hotter. It’s vital to clean this area regularly.
Use a Charger
It might be a good idea to invest in a car battery charger. When the car is parked for a long period of time, an external charger can help keep the battery topped up. Having this will assist in keep the battery from getting completely drained while it is not being used. In result, this will help extend its life and keep you from having to buy a new battery sooner than necessary.