It’s a good idea to protect and care for a part of your vehicle you depend on every time you drive: the battery.

MORE automobile batteries fail in the summer heat than in the winter cold. Summer conditions cause more stress on a battery than frigid winter temperatures. The Farmers’ Almanac anticipates widespread extreme heat and humidity for the latter days of summer 2011, with about two-thirds of the country experiencing above-normal summer temperatures. This summer, Interstate Batteries encourages motorists to protect and care for that part of the vehicle a driver depends on most every day.

Extreme heat affects the corrosion factor within a battery. Battery temperatures under the hood of an automobile can reach 175 degrees to 200 degrees in extreme conditions. This is why it is important for motorists to take necessary precautions of having their vehicle battery checked on a regular basis.

Gale Kimbrough, Interstate Batteries’ hot weather expert, has some helpful guidelines to follow when caring for the automobile battery:

1. Wear protective eyewear, remove all jewelry and wear long sleeves to protect the skin from an explosion of battery acid.

2. Inspect the battery case for signs of extreme bulging, cracking or leaking. If so, it’s time to replace it.

3. Clean up the connections by removing any corrosion, lead oxidation, paint or rust from the top of the battery with a scouring pad or brass brush. Be sure to brush the corrosion away from the body.

4. If the battery has removable filler caps, open the caps and check the water level in each cell.

5. Make sure the plates are at least half covered. This prevents sulfation and reduces the possibility of an internal battery explosion.

6. If the water level is low, add distilled water (avoid tap water) until the plates are covered.

7. Avoid overfilling, especially in hot weather, because the heat can cause the solution inside to expand and overflow.

8. Have the battery and electrical system professionally tested every three to six months and especially prior to heading out on a trip.

In just 30 seconds, Interstate All Battery Center locations provide motorists with a free printout analysis of the vehicle battery condition.

To find information and a local Interstate Batteries dealer or Interstate All Battery Center, visit (NAPSI) â–