Heat Is Worse For Car Batteries Than Cold, Says AAA

About halfway through a midsummer heat wave in the Garden State, surface temperatures can pose even more of a hazard than the temperature in the air.

That applies to just about anything under a car’s hood, according to Joe Erickson, AAA Club Alliance Approved Auto Repair territory manager for New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut.

Erickson said that as exterior temperatures gradually increase, those of vehicle equipment increase “exponentially” and can create evaporation that can, over time, compromise car batteries.

“It’s a bit counterintuitive, but summer heat is actually harder on a car battery than winter cold,” Erickson said.

The typical age of a battery is three to five years, generally tending towards the upper end of this period in (normally) moderate climates like New Jersey, according to Erickson.

But that doesn’t mean batteries shouldn’t be fully checked.

“In southern climates it’s probably closer to three years, so what we recommend is around three years, start having your battery tested under load,” Erickson said.

The worst thing a car owner can do, according to Erickson, is to let their vehicle sit for a long time without being driven, since most modern models contain internal computers that keep things running to some degree.

These mechanisms can deteriorate and also wear out the battery.

“You should start it, drive it around a bit, or have something called a battery charger that charges your battery while it’s sitting,” Erickson said.

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Road vibrations can be as much of an enemy as heat, Erickson said, so batteries need to be properly secured and free of corrosion, which can be accomplished with a home remedy.

“It is very simple to clean your battery with a mixture of baking soda and water, throw it on the battery and then rinse it with water, this will clean the corrosion on the top of the battery, this which is helpful,” he said. said.

Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable doing so can and should take their car to a trusted mechanic, Erickson said.

So far during this heat wave, AAA has reported responding to more than 7,000 roadside service calls, including 1,200 for battery issues alone.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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