Q: Can a Car Battery Overheat in Hot Weather?

asked by on

Can a car battery overheat in hot weather?

People often only think a battery will get damaged in the winter. However, the summer heat can be even more damaging than the winter’s cold temperatures when it comes to car batteries. The summer heat is when most of the damage is done to a battery from internal corrosion or fluid evaporation.

When temperatures start climbing above 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the under-hood temperatures above 200 degrees, these temperatures can cause the battery to accumulate corrosion on the terminals and sulfate the internal plates along with cause the fluid in the battery to evaporate. The battery can only take this heat for a season or two if no [maintenance is done to clean the battery and refill the battery with distilled water.

When a battery has gone through a hot summer, it will start to diminish in its capability to store and maintain the voltage and amperage levels as it could when it was new. The battery, even if it is well maintained, will still lose capacity as time goes by. In extreme hot and cold climates it will lose capacity even faster. After a hot summer, the battery will be more prone to failure when the weather gets cold again.

If the battery is used in extreme hot or cold weather, it will not last much longer than two to four years. When a battery has a larger cold cranking capacity, the cost of the battery rises sharply, due to the added lead put into the battery when it is made. I have seen batteries last five or more years before any failures due to the high lead content in them. Most new batteries are designed to last about three years. When you go to purchase a battery you will see a warranty of between two and five years. The longer the warranty, the more lead it will have and heavier the battery will be. You will get what you pay for.

If a battery has more warranty, lead, or capacity, it does not mean it will not fail in extreme hot temperatures any less than a battery that has less warranty, lead or capacity. Some batteries are better made with better materials and will withstand extreme temperatures better. It is like buying a car; sometimes you get one that never has a problem and another that is a lemon and has nothing but problems. Have your battery tested and maintenance done on a regular basis and you will find that doing this will help your battery last longer and you will have a smaller chance of being stranded with a bad battery.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Can a Car Battery Overheat in Hot Weather?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Starter replaced. Battery at 12V. Still clicking

Hi there. Check all of the connections from the battery to the starter and to the ground. Make sure that all of the connections are tight and free of corrosion. Then check the relay to the starter relay that is...

Q: How do you reset the Maintenance Minder™ system with the multi-information display?

Your Maintenance Minder™ system should be reset after every service. This is critical, as the system makes service recommendations based on mileage. If the system isn’t reset correctly, the recommendations will be out of sync with what the car actually...

Q: Brand new wiper motor keeps blowing the fuse.

If the wiper switch is in the "off" position and yet the fuse protecting the wiper circuit blows when you turn the ignition system on, there may be something wrong with the wiper switch itself in combination with a short...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...