LONDON, Aug. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As record highs are set around the world during an erratic summer in the northern hemisphere, people should keep a watchful eye on the condition of their vehicles' batteries, advises CTEK, a battery charging specialist.
When summer weather turns extreme, most of the attention is turned on the physical discomforts of heat being trapped inside parked cars or other unfortunate aspects of hot temperatures, such as overheating due to low coolant levels or faulty fans, and the potential for battery failure often goes unnoticed. Typically, most people think of extremely cold temperatures when considering possible causes of battery failure; however, blazing summer days can have devastating effects.
The fact is that extreme heat can dramatically shorten battery life by evaporating battery fluid, which in turn can seriously damage the internal structure of the battery. Additionally, high temperatures might cause voltage regulators in standard chargers to malfunction, which can lead to batteries being charged at overly high voltages. Subsequently, the battery fluid can boil and vaporise, which dries out the cells and creates a higher level of acid concentration within the device. The result is excessive corrosion of internal surfaces and eventual battery failure.
Jan-Ulf Soderberg, head of brand and marketing at CTEK, advises: "A few simple steps could help to prevent the inconvenience caused by a dead battery on a sizzling summer day. Avoid being stranded during a heat wave by checking your battery regularly and using a smart battery charger that can handle tough conditions. Conventional charging systems could malfunction or operate poorly in sweltering conditions, causing batteries to be charged at inappropriate voltages. Smart chargers ensure your battery is being charged at the correct rate to avoid the damage that can be caused by overcharging or undercharging.
"If you have a battery that needs to be topped off, then you should check it more often during the summer months and refill it with distilled water. Keep the top of the battery and the terminals clean, as dirt can conduct electrical charge and thus drain the battery. Corrosion on the terminals can insulate them and slow the flow of current; they should be clean, dry and slightly oiled to protect the battery against environmental effects. Also, if you are charging your battery outside, you should be using a charger that is approved for outdoor use, like those made by CTEK, which means it has been safety tested for effective performance in different environments subject to dampness, dust, and variable temperatures."
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