Myth: Winter is harder on your batteries than summer.
Think again. Batteries take more abuse in the summer than they do in the winter. That’s not to say the summer heat doesn’t have benefits for batteries. For instance, the summer temperatures help increase battery capacity and make it easier to turn over the engine.
As the temps climb, batteries can deteriorate–and fast. The rate of sulfation increases, forming lead sulfate crystals, on the electrodes. If the battery isn’t recharged immediately, these crystals will grow, making it more difficult to recharge your battery. The kicker? This growth accelerates with higher temperatures.
In the summertime, parasitic loads, or small currents, drain the battery too. This scenario ends with a shorter battery life or failure altogether. Because colder temperatures that accompany the winter season, it’s more difficult to turn the engine over and decrease battery capacity and a deteriorated battery will make this even more difficult. This is why winter gets the bad rap for being hard on batteries.
Wheelco has some simple yet tried and true tips for keeping your battery in top-notch shape even with the extreme high and low temperatures. Give your battery the TLC is needs in the summer heat.
- 1.Quality, quality, quality. As tempting as it is to purchase a cheap battery, they aren’t always built for longevity or extreme temperatures. Wheelco proudly carries Deka Batteries from East Penn Manufacturing.
- Prepare for Bumpy Roads & Waves. If you drive on bumpy roads, terrane, or even on a boat with rocky waves, make sure your battery is properly mounted to it’s mounting bracket and that the terminal is secure. A loose battery will vibrate, which could cause internal damage, like short circuits. We recommend using AGM batteries for serious vibration.
- 3.Get a full charge. Batteries die. It happens, but you can take preventative measure to keep it fully operational. When you charge your batter, may sure you restore the battery fully charged state. This means, repeatedly driving short distance is making your battery work hard with multiple starts and stops.
- Clean Up. With most everything, proper maintenance is key. Dirt and grease trap heat around the battery. With grim insulating your battery and combo that with the extreme heat, your battery is taking some serious abuse. Wipe it down with a rag on a regular basis. A toothbrush works wonders to get the corrosion off your battery terminals. If your vehicles sit outside, like a lot of farm equipment, you can also install batteries and coating the connections with KRL73 (the green can) of corrosion inhibitor from Krown.
- 5.Turn off your electronics. We all known that keeping your lights on will quickly sabotage your battery’s life. But what you might not know is that charging your phone or listening to the radio while in idle is wearing down your battery.
- 6.Keep your cool. Take simple steps to extending your battery’s life. Park in the shade, garage, or quonset to offset the summer heat beating down on your vehicle. Inactive batteries are prone to parasitic loads. So, if you know you won’t be using your vehicle for an extended period-of-time store your battery inside or somewhere with climate control.
Replace your old batteries
If you do need to replace your battery, replace it with a high-quality one you can trust. For heavy-duty truck on-or-off road applications, Wheelco has the battery stocked for your equipment. We also carry batteries for smaller applications—for your marine applications to your golf cart. Stop in or call one of our multiple locations, or shoot us an email and our experts will find the battery that’s right for you.