Fluctuating Fall Temperatures Can Wreak Havoc On Car Batteries

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- Many drivers are unaware how fluctuating temperatures can be harmful to their cars.

In warm weather, heat drains car batteries, said Carl Bull, a mechanic at the Grease Pig in Fayetteville. The batteries contain liquid, which evaporates in the heat, harming your battery and speeding up the chemical process and damaging the processor.

On the other hand, during the winter, colder temperatures thicken the liquid. Bull said this makes it harder for the battery to power up and slows down the chemical process. When this happens, it leads to an increase in low-cranking or dead batteries.

These fluctuating temperatures could potentially cause a car battery to die, even if the car isn't showing any indication of battery damage.

In order to preserve battery life during weather changes, manufacturers have designed special batteries with extra voltage. Listed on the top of these special batteries are ratings, or cold cranking amps, which are indicated by the letters CCA.

While it's difficult to see signs of battery damage, there are still ways to monitor a battery, starting with keeping track of how old the battery is. Bull said batteries need to be tested after three or four years.

Getting a battery checked during routine oil changes or trips to the mechanic can also help vehicle owners keep tabs on how long it will last.