To understand the characteristics of a particular capacitor easily, first find out the capacitor family whether it is ceramic, plastic, film or electrolytic and from that it is easy to identify the characteristics.Even though capacitors have same capacitance value they may have different working voltages. If you use a capacitor which has low working voltage in place of a capacitor which has high working voltage then the increased voltage may damage the low voltage capacitor even though both capacitors have same capacitance.
Already we know that electrolytic capacitor has polarities, so while connecting the electrolytic capacitor in the circuit, positive terminal must connect to the positive connection and negative terminal of capacitor to negative connection otherwise the capacitor may damage. So it is always better to replace the damaged or old capacitor in the circuit with the new one which has same characteristics.The figure below figure shows the characteristics of a capacitor.
The nominal capacitance value may change with working temperatures and with the circuit frequency. These nominal values are as low as one pico-farad (1pF) for smaller ceramic capacitors and as high as one farad (1F) for electrolytic capacitors. All capacitors have a tolerance rating that ranges from -20% to +80%.
The working voltages which are commonly printed on the body of a capacitor are 10V, 16V,25V, 35V, 50V, 63V, 100V, 160V, 250V, 400V and also 1000V. All the capacitors will have a longer working life if they operated within their rated voltage values and in a cool environment.
The tolerance value of a capacitor is measured at a temperature of +20°C and it is valid only at the time of its delivery. If a capacitor may be used after a longer period of storage then the tolerance value will increase, but according to the standard specifications, this value will not exceed twice the value which is measured at the time of its delivery. The delivery tolerances usually for wound capacitors are +/-(1%,2.5%,5%,10%,20%). The very general tolerance values variation for capacitors is 5% or 10%, and this is rated as low as +/-1% for plastic capacitors.
The capacitance value of a capacitor may change, if air or the surrounding temperature of a capacitor is too cool or too hot. These changes in temperature will cause to affect the actual circuit operation and also damage the other components in that circuit.I think it is not a simple thing to keep the temperatures stable to avoid capacitors from frying.
The liquids within the dielectric can be lost to evaporation especially in electrolytic capacitors (aluminum electrolytic capacitors) when they will operate at high temperatures (over +850C)and also the body of the capacitor would become damaged due to the leakage current and internal pressure. And also the electrolytic capacitors cannot be used at low temperatures, such as below -100C.
(to be updated)