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Feeling the heat? So is your car battery

Published on: 17 December 2014

If the summer heat is wearing you down, it’s probably doing the same to your car battery. Contrary to popular belief, high summer (rather than low winter) temperatures pose a greater threat to your car battery. This is because heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, and as a result, damages the internal structure of the battery. Extreme heat, like 35°C outside, combined with high temperatures under the hood, accelerates corrosion of car batteries.

To get the most out of a battery, follow these simple steps:

  • Preventive maintenance goes a long way toward prolonging the life of your battery. Take a few minutes to read about your battery in your car’s manual and become familiar with what kind of battery it is, where it is, how to safely clean it and what the indicator lights inside your car are telling you.
  • If your battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell. Make sure the plates are covered by the fluid inside. If the water level is low, add distilled water until the plates are covered. Don't use tap water. Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.
  • Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Also, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.
  • Clean up the battery connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Be sure to brush the corrosion away from you.
  • Do a visual inspection to see if the battery case is bulging, cracked or leaking. If it is, it's time to replace it.
  • Have your battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months and especially before heading out on a trip.

If you do happen to end up in the unfortunate situation that your car won't start because of a flat battery, MiWay clients can either phone MiWay's MiHelp Roadside Assistance on 08600 767 64 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or use the MiWay app to request assistance at the touch of a button.