Clean Your Battery
Baking soda paste on car battery

Corroded battery terminals prevent your car from running at its best. A paste of baking soda and water can clean it off.

Mark Weiss/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Wintertime is notorious for dead batteries and early morning jumpstarts. But the truth is that hot weather is even tougher on your battery.

Summer heat can speed up the chemical reaction inside a battery, causing the battery to be overcharged [source: CBS News]. This can dramatically shorten the lifespan of your battery. Heat can also damage the battery by evaporating internal battery fluid [source: Car Care Council].

The best way to keep your battery running smoothly is to keep it clean. Regularly detach the battery cables and wipe off the terminals. Make sure the battery is strapped down tightly and that all connections are secure.

If you suspect that your battery is being overcharged or isn't holding a charge well, take it to a service shop where they can run a quick battery inspection. And if you need to replace the battery, make sure that it's the right battery type for your specific make and model of car.

What's our number one car summer maintenance tip? Keep reading to find out.