A Canadian winter can be hard on your car battery. But heat is also a relentless battery assassin. And this is something ignition interlock users need to pay attention to. Your battery keeps your interlock device working and your driving privileges valid, so it needs to stay in good shape. At LifeSafer we get calls from customers who believe their interlock is malfunctioning, when in fact a bad battery is the culprit. Some of them are surprised when it happens in summer, but they shouldn’t be.
Cold Weather – Death to Car Batteries
It’s pretty simple: car batteries (and all batteries) rely on a chemical reaction to produce current. Cold temperatures slow the reaction, so the battery produces less current. The vehicle also needs more current to turn an engine over in cold weather – oil is thicker – and the combination of less power and greater demand can drain a battery completely in short order.
Hot Weather: Another Battery Killer
Some people think their battery problems are over when summer comes. But hot weather kills batteries. In fact, extreme heat is more likely to finish off your battery, and can do so in no time. Why? If it’s 32 degrees Celsius outside, it could be 55 or 60 inside the engine compartment. That heat evaporates the water inside the battery fluid, causing corrosion and damage. Some interlock installers in hot climates see new batteries go bad in six months!
If there’s an issue with your interlock, make an appointment for your provider will check the battery. If you suspect anything is wrong, or if the weather has been especially hot or cold, don’t hesitate to ask the technician to test it when you come in for monitoring and calibration.
Your battery is essential to the operation of your vehicle, and it powers the ignition interlock circuitry. Know what the killers are, so you can defend against them and stay on the road.