Auto

Long Live the Battery

SPONSORED

Q. I’ve been arguing with a few friends about battery longevity. Could you shed some light on this?

I say that heat is the true killer of batteries. Summers of 200-degree under-hood temperatures eventually weaken the battery and it fails on the coldest day of the winter. My friends from the neighborhood claims it's not heat but cold that kills your battery.

My last few batteries have lasted five years or so. I always open my hood six inches or so on 85-plus degree days when arriving home in the evening. Thoughts?

A. Extreme temperatures, either hot or cold, are when we see the most battery failures. I must agree with you though; heat is the true killer of a battery. The battery could be overheated from extremely high under-hood temperatures or from an over charging situation.

Generally, we will see a marginal battery fail in the winter because the cold temperatures sap some of the cranking power; if you would warm the same battery up to 80 degrees it probably would start the car.

I don't know if leaving the hood up is what's giving you the long battery life, but, hey, if it's working and you don't mind doing it, keep it up.

I believe if you get five or six years out of a battery in our climate, you are doing well. It also pays to spend a little bit more on the battery so you can get more years out of it. It is also important to buy the proper size and CCA (cold cranking amps) for your car. 

  • Doug

Three locations:

Crystal Lake – 123 E. Virginia, (815) 356-0440

Barrington – 417 W. Main Street, (847) 381-0454

Fox River Grove – 416 Northwest Highway, (847) 639-4552

Visit www.douglasautomotive.com for more info.

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.