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Some Things are Getting Better

Every now and then, it is appropriate to remind ourselves that some things are getting better.  One of those things getting better is automobile reliability in the heat of summer.  It was not that long ago that it was a regular occurrence to see cars on the side of the road that overheated in the summertime, especially during traffic congestion or even idling for long periods of time.  Overheated cars were easy to spot because they typically had steam boiling out from under the hood.  During the summer, especially in congested traffic, monitoring the engine temperature gauge often meant the difference between walking in the heat or driving in the comfort of air conditioning.

The new cars of today have drastically improved since then.  Modern thermostats, cooling fans, engine cooling designs, radiator fluid and computers that monitor numerous aspects of the vehicle, including temperatures, have worked together to make most automobile overheating a thing of the past.  That is, of course, if the proper manufacturer recommended maintenance has been done especially for things like the radiator coolant and engine oil. 

To keep your radiator functionally optimally in the heat, make sure to select coolant designed for your car model and make, as there may be certain requirements that only a specific coolant will suffice. Additionally, a radiator flush and coolant replacement regularly will remove build up and keep things working as they should. Another preventative maintenance tip is to be aware of leaks in your radiator hose when completing an oil change. Lastly, never overload your vehicle to the point where your car is under extra stress and the radiator cannot properly cool the car down. If proper maintenance is followed, you should have a worry-free summer of traveling.

But what about electric automobiles?  Here is what we know, excessive heat can kill or at least diminish the performance and life of batteries.  That degradation is one of the reasons why some automobile manufactures have moved the batteries out of the engine compartment.  It is also known that a resting battery gets hotter when it begins providing electricity.  That is why on a hot summer day, batteries can overheat faster than on more temperate days.  That is where the ever-improving battery management system comes in, its job is to worry about the internal battery temperatures so that we don’t have to.

Electric vehicle owners should also take precautions for the heat of summer months. Although most electric vehicle batteries have a decently long lifespan and are created to sustain various conditions, the proper maintenance can prolong the health of the battery. Warmer temperatures directly impact the life of lithium-ion batteries, which most electric vehicles use.  Exposure to water or extreme heating and overcharging can result in the fast release of heat and energy from the battery, known as “thermal runaway”, which in severe cases, can result in a fire or explosion. Luckily, if we perform proper maintenance, automobile overheating is pretty much a thing of the past.  So, it’s worth recognizing that, at least for the automotive industry, reliability is something that has gotten better over the years.

If overheating or battery failure in your vehicle occurs, our team of experts can help. CED Technologies has been involved in numerous cases where the evaluation of a battery system was central to the investigation. CED engineers, like Russell Simmons, have extensive expertise, experience, and training to investigate cases on lithium-ion batteries and/or various electric vehicles. Contact 800-780-4221 to have a consultation with a CED engineer now.

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