Heat can shorten the life of your vehicle’s battery

CINCINNATI (WXIX) – Like cold temperatures, hot temperatures can have a negative impact on your vehicle’s battery.

“A couple of things that are the worst enemies of cars are heat and vibration,” says AAA’s Enrique Sanders. “Like the cold, we care about our batteries, the same concept in the heat.”

The heat can break down the inside of the dough and eventually cause it to fail.

Sanders says there are a few things to keep in mind before your vehicle’s battery dies.

“Usually you won’t be able to look at a battery unless you see an excessive amount of corrosion around the terminal or if it’s loose, but you’ll usually have a hard time starting and maintaining it, you know when. you’re going to start, you know, dim lights, stuff like that,” Sanders explained. ″Usually you will get some warning signs beforehand.”

Sanders suggests that if your battery is two or three years old, have it checked by a technician to see if the heat has affected it.

AAA says to keep up with your vehicle maintenance, especially your vehicle’s coolant and air conditioning.

Heat doesn’t just cause problems with what’s under the hood, Sanders explains.

“The one that gets overlooked the most sometimes is our tires because, as a tire, there are two reasons why we put air in the tire: one is obviously to inflate the tire and support the weight of the vehicle, but the other reason is that it maintains the temperature of the tire,” according to Sanders.

AAA recommends having an emergency kit stocked with plenty of water on hot days in your vehicle.

Read more AAA tips below.

Heat can kill battery life

Most drivers think that battery problems mainly occur in winter, but the heat of summer can have a negative impact on your car’s battery even more than the cold of winter. Heat and vibration are the two worst enemies of a battery leading to internal breakdown and eventual failure. While drivers can’t do much about the heat, they can make sure their battery is securely mounted in place to minimize vibration.

Another potential summer issue is faster evaporation of battery fluid, causing corrosion on terminals and connections. Clean any corrosive buildup from the battery terminals and cable clamps, and make sure the clamps are tight enough so they don’t move.

If a car battery is more than three years old, it’s a good idea to have it tested by a trained technician to determine how much longer it will last.

Keep your engine cool

Car engines work harder in the summer, and the cooling system’s job is to protect the engine from overheating. Additionally, coolant additives protect the radiator and internal engine components from wear and corrosion. Without proper cooling system maintenance, the chances of long-term engine damage and a summer spill definitely increase.

Over time, engine coolant becomes contaminated and its protective additives deplete. This is why the system must be flushed and the coolant replaced periodically as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Older coolants used to require changing every two years or 24,000 miles, but most modern formulations are good for at least five years and 50,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual or maintenance booklet to determine the proper service interval for a vehicle.

Between flushes, make sure the coolant is filled to the proper levels by checking the overflow reservoir. If necessary, fill the reservoir with a 50/50 mixture of water and the type of coolant specified by the vehicle manufacturer. CAUTION! – Never remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot – coolant scalding under pressure could cause severe burns.

Rubber components in the cooling system are also susceptible to deterioration from extreme heat. Inspect hoses and drive belts for cracks, soft spots, or other signs of poor condition. Worn parts are more susceptible to failure in hot conditions and should be replaced.

Avoid excessive heat where the rubber meets the road

Driving on flat tires not only affects a vehicle’s handling and braking, it can also cause tires to overheat and increase the likelihood of blowouts. This issue becomes even more of a concern when road temperatures are extremely high.

More than half of the vehicles on the road were found to have at least one flat tire, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, and 85 percent of motorists don’t know how to properly inflate their tires.

Tires should be checked when the car has not been driven recently, and should be inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, not the number molded into the sidewall of the tire. Recommended tire pressures can be found in your owner’s manual or on a decal typically found on the driver’s door jamb. Some vehicles use different pressures for the front and rear tires.

While checking tire pressure, including the spare, drivers should also inspect tire treads for proper tread depth and any signs of uneven wear that may indicate a suspension or alignment problem.

Cars need fluids too during extreme heat

Engine fluids are essential to keeping a vehicle running smoothly. Most fluids not only lubricate, but also serve as coolants by helping to carry heat away from critical components. When fluid levels are low, this cooling effect is reduced and the chance of overheating increases. Drivers should check all vehicle fluids, including motor oil, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, and brake fluid to ensure they are filled to the proper levels. If fluid needs to be refilled, be sure to use the type of fluid specified in the owner’s manual.

Cool passengers are happy passengers

Maintaining a comfortable driving environment reduces fatigue, which can play an important role in driver alertness and vehicle safety. During the extreme heat of summer, a properly functioning air conditioning system can be more than just a welcome comfort. If a car’s air conditioner isn’t maintaining interior temperature as well as it has in the past, it could mean the coolant level is low or there’s another problem. Have the air conditioning system checked by a certified technician.

Many automotive climate control systems today are equipped with a cabin filter that prevents outside debris from entering. If present, this filter should be inspected and replaced as needed to ensure maximum airflow and cooling during the summer months.

Just In Case… Be Prepared for Summer Breakdowns

Even with proper preventative maintenance, breakdowns can still happen in the summer. AAA recommends that every driver have a well-stocked emergency kit in their vehicle. The kit should include water, non-perishable food, jumper cables, a flashlight with extra batteries, flares or an emergency beacon, basic hand tools, and a first aid kit.

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