Contrary to popular belief, summer heat rather than winter cold poses the greatest threat to battery life and the resulting need for VW repair. Most people think of dead batteries during severe winter weather, but the summer heat is the real catalyst. Many battery problems start long before the temperature drops.

Sooner or later, all batteries must be replaced. Excessive heat and overcharging are the two main reasons for shortened battery life. Heat causes battery fluid to evaporate, damaging the internal structure of the battery. A malfunctioning component in the charging system, usually the voltage regulator, allows too high a charging rate, for which a VW repair technician at Ottohaus can provide a proper diagnosis and recommend repair solutions.

To get the most life out of a battery, Ottohaus suggests the following steps:

  • Be sure the electrical system is charging at the correct rate; overcharging can damage a battery as quickly as undercharging.
  • If your battery is the type that needs to be topped off, check it regularly, especially in hot weather. Add distilled water when necessary.
  • Always replace a battery with one that’s rated at least as high as the one originally specified.
  • Keep the top of the battery clean. Dirt becomes a conductor, which drains battery power. Further, as corrosion accumulates on battery terminals, it becomes an insulator, inhibiting current flow.

Driving habits such as frequent engine on/off cycles cause more wear on the starter than a simple back and forth drive to work. Other factors include driving and weather conditions, vehicle mileage, vehicle age, and excessive electrical draws like in-vehicle entertainment systems.

Check your battery if you notice headlights and interior lights are dim, accessories that fail to operate, or the “check engine” and/or “check battery” lights are illuminated.

Ottohaus of Charleston has two convenient locations to serve you and provide you routine battery maintenance and expert VW repair. Contact us today to have your vehicle serviced.