We love our home state of Arizona, its beauty, uniqueness and history all make it a fantastic place to live and work. However, one thing we have to deal with here, is the extreme summer temperatures. When the temperatures soar well over 100 degrees for days on end, it can do some serious damage to our vehicles.
Heat is a Way of Life
Considering the fact that extreme heat is just a way of life out here in the southwest, there is some special care, and extra preventative maintenance, we need to take with our vehicles. Car batteries are one component in our vehicles that are highly susceptible to heat. In fact, heat is one of the leading causes of car battery failure. So, how do we combat the toll that heat takes on our car battery?
One of the biggest challenges we encounter, as a result of excessive heat, is the loss of fluid in car batteries. Car batteries are filled with an acid and water combination for optimum electrical conductivity. When water is exposed to heat, it evaporates, which causes the water level to decrease over time, leading to internal damage and a dead battery.
Battling Water Evaporation
In order to combat water evaporation, some car owners resort to adding additional water to their battery. This can solve the low fluid concern, however it can also pose a risk of overfilling the battery. If a battery is overfilled with water, there is the potential for the battery fluid to overflow when the vehicle is started. This overflow can cause acid damage and corrosion to the surrounding engine components.
Another issue associated with rising temperatures, is swelling or bulging of your car battery. This can cause the battery to crack and/or leak battery fluid. It is good preventative maintenance practice to inspect your car battery at regular intervals to make sure there is no damage to your car battery. Unfortunately, if you do notice that there is structural damage, you will need to replace your battery – there is no safe fix for structural damage.
Connection and battery terminal corrosion are also common complications of battery fluid evaporation. These issues can cause an improper fit of the battery cables which will render the battery inoperable. Corrosion not only causes damage to the battery itself, but it can also damage surrounding structures. To combat battery corrosion, it is necessary to clean the battery terminals on a regular basis.
Considering all the damage that can occur due to the extreme temperatures, we must be more vigilant with vehicle maintenance, than in some other areas. Making an appointment with your auto repair shop before the heat of summer hits full force, is the best way to make sure you are ready to face the extreme heat for yet another scorching summer here in the southwest.