Car Batteries: Why Don’t They Last Long In Florida?

While the Sunshine state’s warm weather may seem nice at the beach, it’s not so kind to your car. It’s often assumed that colder weather would be the biggest threat to your battery’s lifespan, but in fact, the heat is worse. In cool climates, a car battery typically lasts 5 years or longer, but in hot climates, it’s only 3.

Many Floridians aren’t aware of the shortened lifespan and panic when their battery dies long before the 5-year mark. Below we’ll cover how your car is impacted by excessive heat and the proactive steps you can take to help it last.

How the Heat Affects Your Car’s Battery

The ideal temperature for a car battery to run at is 77- 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In Florida, it’s common to see highs in the 90s. But what actually happens when it gets too hot? 

In commonly used lead-acid batteries, the liquid within evaporates, causing sulfation. This means that harmful lead-sulfate crystals form. High temperatures can also make the battery’s plates buckle, which occurs when your battery swells or warps.

If your battery is located in the back of your vehicle, like in a Cadillac, it’s less exposed to the sun and will have a longer lifespan.

How Old is Your Car Battery?

Each car battery has a specific date code for determining its age. Depending on the brand and type, the date code may contain arrangements of letters. To understand your battery’s code, you can look up the standard format for the brand.

Image of a man working on a car battery with a pair of needle nose pliers.

Proactive Tips

While we can’t change the weather, there are a few ways to slow the wear. First, keeping up with maintenance appointments will ensure that your mechanic will check for corrosion and clean it off before it becomes a problem. Another tip is to park in the shade or in a garage to avoid the sun. 

When Should I Replace My Car Battery?

With the shortened battery life, it’s important to stay aware of signs your battery is suffering or ready to be replaced. The obvious sign that a battery has died is the inability to start your car. However, there are a few other signs that can occur before it gets to that point. For example, you may hear cracking or clicking sounds, or your vehicle may be slow to start. However, it’s common for batteries to die in Florida without prior warning. Your car can start on your way to the grocery store but easily fail to start on your way home.

Visit City Auto Repair For a Car Battery Check

It’s important to address battery needs before you end up with a vehicle that won’t start. Regular maintenance and testing will prolong the life of your battery and keep you clear of problems.

At City Auto Repair, we can help you with your auto maintenance through regular checkups and tune-ups. If you live in Gainesville, FL, or the surrounding areas, give us a call today to schedule an appointment for a battery check or routine auto maintenance to keep your car going strong!