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Time to Prepare Vehicles for Summer Heat

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DALLAS--Summer is driving season for family vacations and road trips, but high temperatures can put the brakes on the fun without proper vehicle maintenance. America’s number one automotive replacement battery company, Interstate Batteries, offers preventive maintenance tips to families to help prepare their automobiles for worry-free summer travels.

"Most people focus on vehicle maintenance and repairs during the winter because they believe their cars are at a higher risk for damage," said Gale Kimbrough, Technical Services Manager with Interstate Batteries. "In reality, once temperatures reach 90 F (32 C) or higher, the underhood battery can be 140 F (60C). These temperatures can cause problems, especially for car batteries, which withstand extreme heat under the hood."

Interstate Batteries recommends that individuals follow these simple maintenance tips:

  • Perform a visual inspection – Examine the battery for dirt or debris, which often accumulates during the winter. Clean all surfaces to ensure an unsoiled connection between posts and cables. Wipe off terminals.
  • Confirm fluid levels – If your battery has removable vent caps, remove them and check the water level in each cell. Make sure the water level is above the plate level. If necessary, add distilled water to the cells. You will not be able to confirm any water levels if the battery is not accessible or if it doesn’t have removable filler caps.
  • Don't overcharge – Overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging. To make sure the electrical system is charging correctly, have the battery and electrical charging system professionally tested every three to six months and especially prior to a vacation.
  • Check indicator lights – Be familiar with your car battery's indicator lights, which are designed to alert you when the battery needs attention. If the Battery or Charging System lights illuminate, have your vehicle’s battery and charging system tested by a qualified technician.