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Can Heat Damage A Car Battery? Can Heat Destroy Batteries?

How To Clean Car Battery Corrosion

It is important for you as a driver to understand “can heat damage a car battery?” Experts discovered that heat is one of the worst enemies to your car's battery as it evaporates the internal fluids and causes internal corrosion and damages.

While many of us might be familiar with winter's negative impacts on our car’s batteries, AAA indicated that it is more likely to deal with car battery problems in summer than winter. In fact, in the summer of 2018 only, about 1.8 million battery-related service calls are reported to AAA.

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With that in mind, drivers need to be proactive about preparing their car's batteries and preventing getting themselves stuck on the roadside waiting for service to come to fix their batteries.

This article walks you through what you need to know about the impact of high temperatures on your car's battery. It also highlights some details about symptoms of a bad car battery to detect them before the battery completely fails.

Can heat damage a car battery?

Your vehicle's battery requires a certain level of temperature to perform properly. Experts indicated that your battery's ideal temperature is 80 degrees, which is relatively high. However, when the temperature exceeds a certain threshold, the battery's life can get impacted.

Experts at the car council indicated that the two most important enemies to any car's battery are hot weather and vehicle overheating. In general, here's what will happen when your car's battery gets overheated:

  • The internal components of the battery will corrode
  • The batteries lifetime will be short, and due to irreversible damages
  • The internal fluids will evaporate, pausing damages to the internal structure

How hot is too hot for car batteries?

Knowing that heat is an enemy to your car’s battery makes it a little stressful for inexperienced drivers. However, it is not too complicated to understand how hot it's too hot for your car's battery.

In general, you might want to rely on what experts recommend as the temperature tests for it the car's battery where your battery is performance is tested against 160 Fahrenheit degree that is considered the typical summer battery temperature in the engine’s bay.

How to protect our batteries from hot summer temperatures?

By now, you have an idea about the impact of temperature on your vehicle's battery in summer, and you have a sense that you might end up stuck on the roadside because of that car batteries during summer. Therefore, you must be proactive about summer impacts on your vehicle's battery and implement some tips and tricks that help prevent car failures due to high temperatures:

1-    Keep your vehicle as cool as possible

Yes, we understand that summer's temperature is very high, and your vehicle will get hot no matter what. Thus, you can still keep your vehicle cool by doing simple tricks like parking your car and shaded spots or probably using some protection Shields that prevent the temperature from increasing significantly inside your vehicle.

2-    Drive more

When you drive shorter distances in summer, you follow a simple recipe for damaging your car's battery. Imagine what happens when you don't drive your car for long distances. The alternator needs time to charge the battery, which happens only when you're driving the car. The shorter the distance, the less time it is for your alternator to charge the battery, and the higher the chances for your car's battery to deplete and die.

Therefore, you must plan your trips and aim for longer driving distances while preventing these short trips as much as possible.

3-    Reduce the stress on the battery

When you drive your car, you will most likely turn on many of the electric components like the DVD player, the MP3, the smartphone, etc. Therefore, it is recommended that you eliminate many of these devices as much as possible to reduce the stress on the car's battery, especially if you left some of these components turned on when your vehicle is turned off.

4-    Keep your vehicle clean

It might be surprising to know that dirt and grease can damage batteries due to hot temperatures. When your car has a lot of grease and dirt around the rocks or components close to the car's battery, there is a very high chance that grease will hold more temperature and prevent the battery from cooling down fast.

5-    Clean the battery

Over time of use, and whether it's summer or winter, your car's battery might build corrosion around the battery terminals and cables. Therefore, you must perform a visual inspection looking for any signs of corrosion and clean them up if needed.

Obviously, suppose you notice that there are some breakages around the battery terminals. In that case, you must stay away and replace the battery because there's a very high chance that you might get electric shocks if not knowing what you're doing.

6-    Consider replacing the battery

Typically, your vehicle's battery is expected to last somewhere between three and five years. However, according to experts, in northern regions of the United States, vehicles batteries last longer up to 58 months. In southern regions where it's a little bit hotter, vehicles batteries last about 41 months.

If you notice that your car's battery is approaching the end of its lifetime, it is important to be proactive about the problem and replace the battery we need it. However, don't wait till the last minute where your car's battery starts to feel complete before thinking about replacing it. Replacing the car's battery does not require much money, but ignoring the problem might result in complications requiring thousands of dollars on repair costs.

7-    Charge the car battery if needed

If you know that you're leaving your car's battery for a long time, like going for a vacation or something else, you must be proactive about preventing draining your car's battery. Therefore, consider investing in a car battery charger that helps keep your vehicle's battery charged when you are away.

What are the common signs of a bad car battery?

No matter how proactive you are about preparing the car's battery for summer, there might be a time where your car's battery is approaching the end of its lifetime. Therefore, it is important for you as a driver to familiarize yourself with the common symptoms of a bad car battery and immediately take care of the problem by replacing the battery if needed:

1-    Your battery reached the end of its lifetime

Every battery has an expiration date or at least a lifespan. Therefore, before noticing or looking for any symptoms indicating that your car's battery is going bad, you must understand when and the expiration date for your car battery. Once you notice that your car's battery is approaching the end of its lifetime, you must consult your mechanic and determine when it's the right time to replace it.

2-    Your batteries case is bulging

The vehicle's battery has to come in a certain boxy shape. If you notice some skewness to the batteries box, it indicates that there are some internal damages in your vehicle's battery because of high or cold temperatures. Usually, once you notice this issue will, you must take immediate action and consult the mechanic about whether to replace the battery or not.

3-    Your vehicle will smell like a rotten egg

Since the barrier consists of a good amount of sulfur, when the car's battery goes bad, the battery sulfur, which most likely smells like rotten egg, will spread in your vehicle. So, according to experts, whenever you notice any weird smell coming from your car, whether this smells good or bad, it is important that you take it seriously because the issue might be linked to a severe problem.

4-    The battery terminals will get corroded

The battery terminals are responsible for transferring the electric charge from the battery itself to the other components. When these terminals are not in good condition, they look to current will stay sitting in the car's battery and will never reach any electric components.

Thus, it is important that before you decide to replace the car battery, to inspect the battery terminals as we indicated before visually. If you notice any signs of battery terminal corrosion, you need to clean them up or replace them if needed depending on their condition.

5-    You'll notice troubles with electric components

When the battery keeps dying, you will immediately notice a different behavior of your electric components. For example, you might notice that the power windows, the windshield wipers, the dashboard lights, or probably the radio is not working properly. Thus, you need to look at the car's battery and have your mechanic decide whether the problem comes from a bad battery or something else.

6-    The headlights will be dimmer

Another important symptom indicating that your car's battery is going out is when you notice that the headlights are not as shiny as they used to be. In other words, if you notice that the headlights are getting dimmer and dimmer, look at the battery and check if you need to replace them. Remember that dimmer headlight might also be related to a bad alternator or probably any other components. Therefore, you cannot immediately say that it's the car battery that's going bad.

7-    The ignition might make some clicking noises

Also, when the car battery has significant problems, you might notice some weird clicking noise every time you turn the key in the ignition. This indicates that there is not enough charge to start the engine, and all woods doing is just clicking noise. The battery might be completely failed, or it could have some little charge to start some electric components but not get the engine going.

8-    The engine will turn over slower than usual

Again, when the car's battery does not have enough charge for the engine, the engine will try to turn over, but it will take time to turn over and might not even start.

9-    A check engine light

In some scenarios and depending on your vehicle's type, you might even notice a check engine light illuminating on the dashboard, indicating an internal issue. Obviously, the check engine light is a general indication of an internal problem. You cannot just say that because the check engine light is illuminating, you need to change the car's battery.

Your mechanic will have certain tools to scan the vehicle's computer and read the errors to get an idea about what is going on wrong. The mechanic will also let you know whether it's the car's battery or not and whether you need to replace it or fix the terminals, for example.


Your vehicle's battery is a core component that you need to ensure working all the time properly. So, it might be surprising to many people to know that vehicles battery gets damaged more frequently in summer than in winter because of high temperatures.

Experts confirmed that high heat can severely damage over car's battery and might require you to install a new battery in certain instances. When the temperature goes very high in your car's battery, the internal fluids evaporate, which causes internal structure damages to your car's battery, preventing it from doing its job.

While it's not very expensive to replace a car battery, if your car has other major problems like a damaged engine or a faulty transmission, it might not be worth your time and effort to replace the car's battery. So instead, you recommended selling your vehicle and use the money towards a better car.

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