How to avoid letting summer heat wreak havoc on your car battery, tires


Las Vegas, NV (KLAS) — The hot temperatures in Las Vegas can wreak havoc on cars across the valley. One of the biggest issues people have during the summer is their car batteries not working.

Elena Ledoux is the owner of the house cleaning service Superb Maids, and her company relies on vehicles to get to each customer. But she just found out one of the car batteries needs to be replaced because of the heat.

“It’s really disruptive if we can’t make it to an appointment,” Ledoux said.

Ledoux is surprised because she says she keeps the cars in good shape.

“I go to the dealer on a regular basis, any time there’s a light or anything on, I always go, I drop everything,” Ledoux said. “So I never expected for the car to just not start and just quit working.”

David Hartson, the owner of Procare Automotive, an auto shop in the valley, says heat can mess with the lead plates inside your car battery, shorting it out.

So what can you do?

“There are shields that can be purchased to put around the vehicle battery to try and protect it from too much heat,” Hartson said.

But Hartson says that does not always work. Instead, he recommends thoroughly cleaning the batteries and getting rid of corrosion.

“Here’s a battery tool and when I say cleaning the terminal, by taking the clamp off and as you can see, it’ll come up clean,” Hartson said.

Hartson says a good way to see if your battery is fine is to check the level of battery acid.

“If there’s no cell showing, if so, then the level is fine,” Hartson said.

Testing the voltage can also let you know if a battery is doing well. The reading should be between 12.2 and 12.6 volts.

Ledoux says these are all steps she will start to take during the summer months.

“So we can be a little bit more proactive, not reactive,” Ledoux said.

Car batteries in Las Vegas usually last for about two years. But experts say to not just replace your car batteries every couple years — instead, you should get them tested, which can be done at any auto shop.

Another issue cars have in the summer is flat tires. Driving on under-inflated tires can cause them to overheat and sometimes blow out. You want to make sure your tires are properly inflated. Recommended tire pressures can usually be found in the owner’s manual.

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