OKLAHOMA CITY – Summer heat can drain your car battery in record time.
In Oklahoma, where the mercury will rise to 100 degrees this weekend, pay special attention to the sound your vehicle makes when you start it up.
“Any extreme temperature, cold or hot, can be really detrimental to a car’s charging system, particularly the battery,” said Jeff Beck, of Beck’s Auto.
Beck said newer vehicles are particularly susceptible because of the number of computer systems powered by the battery on board.
A typical car battery should last about five years.
When the temperature in Oklahoma is consistently about 90 degrees, it is important to pay attention to your battery.
First, listen for a slow start when you turn the key.
“When you start the vehicle up, the speed in which the vehicle is turning over is important,” Beck said. “It will be dragging. It’ll be slow or sluggish sounding.”
A battery replacement can cost $125 to $500 depending on the type of car and the location of the battery.
Newer vehicles are typically more expensive because of the required replacement battery.
“You can find yourself with a tow bill if you’re not careful in trying to do this stuff yourself,” Beck said. “I’m not saying it has to be done professionally but do your research.”
Also, some newer model vehicles have batteries installed in hard-to-reach areas. Expect to pay more in labor charges to account for the additional time it takes a mechanic to remove and replace the battery.
Always ask your mechanic for an estimate before they start the work so you’re not surprised by the bill.