Summer Care for Your Vehicle’s Battery

Alright, it’s hot out.  Not just hot, but insane hot!  Chances are you’ve already taken steps to beat the heat by recharging your vehicle’s air conditioning and flushing the coolant, but did you know the rising mercury could be killing your vehicle’s battery?  Here are some tips and tricks to keep your vehicle running to whatever summer adventures you’ve got planned.  Let’s start without even popping the hood.

How old is your battery?  If you installed your current battery more than three years ago, take it to a professional to be tested.  The working chemical compounds inside your battery degrade over time, typically reaching a half-life by about 3 years.   Add the fact that Virginia’s intense heat evaporates the water from your battery fluid and you have a significantly higher failure rate.  If you’re not sure how old your battery is or need expert advice, head over to your nearest Auto Repair Center in Hayes or Gloucester to have a certified technician test your battery and electrical system.  Ideally, you should do this every 3-6 months.   Preventative maintenance goes a long way in preserving your battery’s life.
Alright, now let’s pop the hood and look at the battery. (First, put on some protective eyewear.  Battery acid is serious stuff.)  Does it look dirty?  If you battery case is dirty, use a solution of baking soda dissolved warm water to clean it.  Dirt build up on the battery can work as a conductor, pulling power away from your vehicle’s electrical system and making it less efficient.   If your battery has build up on the connectors, remove it with a scouring pad or brass brush by scraping it away from you.  (This built up is still corrosive and can burn your skin or clothing.)
Is the battery case damaged?  If you see cracks, bulges, or leaks in your battery’s case, it’s time for a new one.  Don’t worry.  A knowledgeable and friendly Mechanic in the Hayes or Gloucester area  can install a new battery and send your old one off to be recycled.
While you’re looking at the battery connections, check and see if your clamps are tight.  If they’re loose, tighten them according to your owner’s manual.  A loose connection means an inefficient connection.
Is your case clean and sound?  Your battery installed in the last 3 years?  How about your connections and cabling?  If your clamps, wires, or connections look worn down, next time you’re driving around the Hayes or Gloucester area , stop by a knowledge ASE certified Mechanic to get the full rundown on your battery and what you can do to ensure your vehicle’s peak performance.   When you’re done, be sure to pack jumper cables in your trunk.  We all forget and leave the radio or the lights on.  Don’t let that stop you.

Checking in on your battery is easy and inexpensive, but in the long run, it will save you time, money, and hassle.  This quick little check help ensure that your summer days are spent exploring all beauty and excitement Virginia has to offer.