What does heat mean for car batteries?
- OPTIMA Batteries
How has the weather been near you? If you are like many Americans, the answer is "Hot!" According to a recent LA Times article, 2,359 daily high records were broken just within a 30-day span! Combine that with the very 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. 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.