What does heat do to car batteries?
How has the weather been near you? If you are like many Americans, the answer is "Hot!" According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, the first six months of 2013 scored an 80 on a scale of 1 to 119. Thats considered above normal and many pockets of the country set record highs within the last few weeks. Combine that with the mild winter just experienced by most of America and that spells trouble for car batteries.
While many people discover their car battery has reached the end of it's useful life during the first cold snap in winter, the damage was really done back during the hot summer months. Last winter's relatively-mild temperatures helped prolong battery life for many car owners, but those batteries that might've otherwise failed during a cold snap last winter are almost sure to fail this winter, if not sooner. The more hot weather we have this summer, the more batteries are likely to fail this winter.
What can you do to prolong your battery's life? Proper voltage maintenance is always a good idea. If you have a car or boat that only sees weekend or occasional use in the summer months, make sure the voltage is properly-maintained while it is not in use. Fully-charged, all REDTOP® batteries, as well as our 34M BLUETOP® will measure about 12.6-12.8 volts, while our YELLOWTOP® and BLUETOP batteries (except the 34M) will measure about 13.0-13.2 volts.
When batteries are discharged below 12.4 volts and left to sit in that state, that's when sulfation really starts to impact battery performance and lifespan. Are you already worried about the health of your battery? Take it to a battery specialist and have them load test it. Many battery specialists will only charge a small fee for this service, which can be well worth the peace of mind if you are getting ready to take a long trip. Some will even do it for free!
If a load test tells you it's time to replace your battery, it's best not to roll the dice and see how long it will continue working. We'll even offer you an added incentive. Buy an OPTIMA battery directly from us at the same time that you purchase our Digital 1200 battery charger and maintainer and we'll add an additional year of warranty coverage for your battery.
Even if you don't think you'll need to replace your battery for a few more months, just keep your new OPTIMA charged and stored in a cool, dry location (concrete floors won't hurt them a bit) and it will be ready to go when you need it.