What is a car battery heat shield?

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A car battery heat shield is a device that helps to protect your car battery from extreme temperatures. Many cars with a battery installed in the engine compartment already have some form of a battery heat insulation. For some vehicles, it is a hard plastic case and cover. For other vehicles, it is a flexible heat resistant material wrapped around the battery. The function is to control the temperature of the air flow around the battery.

However, occasionally these become lost or damaged by battery acid or the normal wear and tear of installing a new battery and so need to be replaced.

Heatshields are made with materials that reflect heat away from the battery, and it helps to keep the battery cooler in hot weather and warmer in cold weather. A well-designed heat shield will help prevent overheating and extend the life of your battery.

Are You Cooking the Life Out of Your Vehicle’s Battery?

Q: My car battery died after about a year of driving. When I took it to the dealership, they told me that batteries just don’t last as long in Florida.

True. A conventional battery lasts longer in colder climates than in hot climates. The battery chemistry, which creates electrical current, causes a slow degradation of the chemicals within the battery as its continuously charged and discharged.

This degradation process increases as the battery temperature increases, causing complete battery failure in a shorter time when ambient temps are high. ​

Batteries in cold climates last between four to six years, while the same battery on the same vehicle can only be expected to last two to three years in a tropical climate. ​Check out our article on How Long Does a Car Battery Last?

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If you have ever touched your car bonnet on a hot day, you will get an idea of how hot it can get inside the engine compartment.

It is also true that batteries installed in the vehicle’s trunk or under the car seats last longer than batteries installed in the engine compartment. This is because the battery is protected from the high underbonnet temps generated from the exhaust manifold, radiator etc. in the engine bay.

There are three types of battery heat shields:

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  • Pre-made and pre-shaped heat shields are sold in different sizes to fit each battery size and shape.
  • Others come in a sheet form or kit that can be cut and trimmed to fit your battery.
  • Other heat shields are a self-adhesive battery wrap that can be unrolled and stuck to your battery case. These work for all battery types and shapes.

What are the benefits of having a car battery heat shield?

There are many benefits to having a car battery heat shield, including protection from extreme temperatures, longer battery life, better performance, and peace of mind. Without a heat shield, your car battery will not last as long as it should. A heat shield is an important part of prolonging the life of your car battery.

Protection from extreme temperatures

A car battery shield protects your battery from extreme temperatures. Excessive heat can cause the battery cell and battery case to swell and starting hissing and leaking battery acid. A heat shield will help to maintain the battery at a more consistent internal temperature. A battery heat shield protects your battery from both hot (over 40°C) and cold (under -10°C) temperatures. Extreme temperatures can damage batteries and shorten their life span.

Longer battery life:

Heat is a major determinant towards battery life. A benefit of having a car battery heat shield is that it can help to extend the life of your battery. By keeping the battery’s temperature constant, the heat shield helps to prevent damage from thermal cycles, which can shorten the lifespan of a battery. This means that you don’t need to replace your battery as frequently, and you’ll save money in the long term.

Better performance:

Besides helping to extend the life of your battery, a car battery heat shield can also help to improve its performance. When a battery is exposed to extreme temperatures, it can suffer from reduced capacity and decreased efficiency. A cooler battery will perform better than a hot one. If you use your device in hot conditions, a heat shield can help to keep your battery cool and improve its performance.

Peace of mind:

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Knowing that your battery is protected from extreme temperatures can give you peace of mind, especially if you use your device in hostile environments. Car enthusiasts benefit from having specially designed batteries that can handle the extreme temperatures and excessive vibrations of off-road and high speed driving. For example, Optima Yellow Tops and Red Tops are specifically designed to handle high temperatures and vibrations.

However, even these batteries can benefit from the added protection of a well-designed heatshield. Automotive batteries are getting more and expensive. A heat shield is a cheap solution that can protect your investment from premature failure.