How the Heat Affects Your Toyota’s Battery

July 31st, 2019 by

Your Toyota’s battery is equivalent to the heart of the human body. It is just as important to maintain and get your battery inspected as it is for the rest of the car. Car batteries last on average between 3-5 years.

Despite common belief, summer heat is actually harsher on batteries than the winter cold. There were reports of about 1.8 million battery-related service calls in the summer of 2018, according to AAA (Consumer Reports. Bartlett, J.).

Unfortunately, summer heat can destroy batteries. There are 3 main factors that can be a result of the heat; these include fluid evaporation, internal corrosion and battery overcharging (Repair Pal. Fogel, S.). High temperatures and intense heat can evaporate the vital liquids inside the battery, which ultimately results in less starting power and damage to the structure. High temperatures can cause the components inside the battery to corrode, which weakens the charge. The voltage regulator in your Toyota controls how fast the alternator recharges the battery. This can be damaged by the intense heat; resulting in malfunction and overcharging (Repair Pal. Fogel, S.).

Most of the time you won’t notice actual damage until a few months later when you try starting the battery in the colder weather (but don’t blame it on the winter!) The ideal temperature for a car battery is about 77-80 degrees F (Powertron Battery Co.). Anything higher than that can contribute to irreversible damage and a reduced life expectancy.

Some tips to keep in mind to help maintain your Toyota’s battery during those hot summer days are:

  • Be sure to get your battery tested
  • Try to limit short stop-and-go trips
  • Be sure you have turned off all exterior and interior lights when you get out of your car
  • Limit the use of electronics when the engine is off (radio)
  • Park in the garage if you have access to one. If not, try to park in a shady area
  • Keep your battery clean of corrosion and dirt

Be sure to check out our website for battery service & replacement questions!

 

References

Clarios. Autobatteries.com. Car Batteries in Hot Summers and Cold Winters. July 2019.

Consumer Reports. Bartlett, J. How Hot Weather Affects Your Car Battery and What to Do About It. July 2019.

Firestone Complete Auto Care. Does Heat Drain Car Batteries? July 2019.

Google Images. July 2019.

Powertron Battery Co. How the Summer Heat Can Affect Your Car Battery. July 2019.

Repair Pal. Fogel, S. How the Summer Sun Can Hurt Your Car’s Battery. July 2019.