how weather affects your car battery

Car Battery Weather Problems: UK Weather is causing car batteries to fail?

Car Battery Weather Problems

Car Battery Weather Problems
Car Battery Weather Problems

Car Battery Weather Problems

There is no doubt at all that what’s bad for some people is good for others. As a battery dealer here in the UK, I pray for some cold weather. So, the past four years have been really mild and wet, with rainy winters. As a result, battery sales were just “ticking along.”

However, a complete surprise smacked us all in the face this summer. In the UK, temperatures rose to record levels. The temperature reached a staggering 40 °C in some parts of the UK. Southern England, including most of London, was among the hot spots.

Generally, we do not see such highs. In fact, a good hot day in Yorkshire would be around 30 degrees Celsius. although this is something that I don’t often write about ! But heat can kill your battery. Especially if your battery is getting old.

Why does heat effect your car battery

Well, if it’s hot outside, then you can imagine the heat under your car’s bonnet (hood). What this does is boil the acid in your battery, making it ineffective. In past hot summers, we usually had a small time lapse between the heat and battery damage. As a result, battery sales increased about two weeks after the heat wave hit.

Heat can affect all kinds of batteries, including mobility scooter batteries. Many automobiles now have AGM batteries. A swollen battery case is a physical sign that the battery has been overheated. Many times, we have our customers complain about a faulty battery with its side bulging out. However, this is a sure sign of overheating due to operating conditions. What a scorcher!

This winter has started with a bang. with cold, freezing air sweeping down from the Arctic. Of course, the best part is that it is only the beginning of December, with most of the winter to go. Because of the past mild winters, car drivers have been hanging on to their batteries throughout the winter period.

It looks like this year has caught them out. As a result, our battery sales have climbed to the expected limits brought on by a cold winter. Of course, there are ways to help your battery safely make it through the winter. Here’s a simple battery-checking step you can do on a weekly basis.

car battery overheating

Car Battery during a Big Freeze-Check your battery posts for corrosion

Check the battery posts to make sure that there is no corrosion on the battery terminals. This corrosion has the same effect as corrosion on your alloy wheels. Subsequently, when your alloy wheels start to lose pressure because corrosion eats away at the alloy between the wheel and the tyre, this is the case. Consequently, the tyre slowly loses pressure.

because there will be a loss of surface contact. Hence, between the electrical cable connectors and the battery terminals, Corroding residue could cause issues with difficult start-ups. especially on a cold morning. So check the battery to make sure that there is no corrosion or rusting on the battery terminals.

This battery freezing problem was more common when car batteries had screw tops. Of course, now most batteries are maintenance-free. MF batteries are more efficient and work at a lower temperature. Because of this, the battery does not lose as much fluid and requires less “topping up” with distilled water.

car battery in cold weather

Car Battery Big Freeze: Protect your battery posts with petroleum jelly

However, car batteries can still corrode on the posts, with large accumulations of white crystals around the post. The corrosion is chemically known as “lead sulphate.” Is it safe? No, not really, but it is easily cleaned off and can be protected again by smearing the post assembly with petroleum jelly, commonly known of  “Vaseline“.

Because the crystals are acid-based, the best way to clean them is by using some diluted baking soda, diluting it in some water, and mixing them. So all you have to do is pour it on the battery terminal. Afterward, use a wire brush to clean it off. Because the crystals are a lead sulphate

then by using baking soda you wont risk breathing any “lead sulphate” dust into your lungs. This is a really simple job, which we have done thousands of times. Of course, without causing any harm or injury to any of my staff.

The lead-acid car battery is a relatively simple thing to take care of. In fact it is something that we do when a car comes in for a service. Then, cleaning the battery terminals is part of the service. Also, as a precaution, we test the battery to check its condition. If it shows any sign of losing power, then we report it to the customer and leave the decision to buy one or not to them.

Car Battery: Big Freeze-original equipment batteries can last five years

Most batteries will last for five or six years in a new car. So if your car is coming up to that age, you must expect the battery to fail at some point. They don’t last forever, do they? When choosing a new battery, buy the best brand that you can afford. Unless you are selling the car.

Car Battery Weather Problems

2021–2022, the first part of the winter was mild. However, the UK had a long dry spell towards the end of winter, increasing battery sales.

Updating to July 2022, we have witnessed record high temperatures here in the UK, with temperatures reaching 40 oC in most parts. This can destroy your car battery!

eric roberts
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