Top Tips for Preventing Car Battery Problems in Winter
Turning the key in the ignition and hearing that repetitive chugging noise as the engine fails to spring into life is something that most drivers have faced before. It is inconvenient at the best of times, but during the winter, it could prove to be highly dangerous.
The vast majority of the time, the fault lies with the battery, which may be flat. Indeed, dead batteries are the most common cause of vehicle breakdowns, with the AA replacing around 140,000 per year.
Unfortunately, cold temperatures increase the likelihood of a car battery failing, reducing their power output and the ability to receive charge whilst driving. Couple this with the extra use from heaters, blowers and windscreen wipers, and you significantly increase the chances of getting a flat battery.
Modern vehicles also put a lot of demand on the battery, with more and more electrical components added to new cars – from stereo systems to chargers; lights to air conditioning. This makes understanding how to prevent battery problems all the more important.
Preventing the Main Battery Issues
Age plays a big role in the quality of a battery. Any that are over 5 years old that show signs of struggle should be replaced – the winter months emphasise any weaknesses, and you will begin to experience more issues and potential failures to start.
The best way to avoid putting undue stress on your battery is to ensure that everything electrical is switched off with the engine. This will prevent extra demand being placed on the battery at startup. Check all lights, heaters/blowers/air conditioning, stereos, windscreen wipers, satnavs and chargers. As well as this, dipping the clutch when starting the car may help to reduce the stress on the battery.
Similarly, try to only use this equipment whenever entirely necessary whilst the car is in use.
Although not possible for all of us, try to keep your car in a garage when not in use. This will help to keep your battery as warm as possible during the winter months, reducing the stress caused by colder temperatures.
Performing visual checks on your battery will sometimes give an indication as to whether it needs replacing or not. Inspect the clamps and connections for corrosion, and ensure that everything is fully secure. As a general rule, get your battery tested if it is over 3 years old, and don’t hesitate to replace it if an issue is discovered – this is often much more economical (not to mention much more convenient) than having to call out for roadside assistance on a freezing January night.
Keelers Service Centre are one of the leading providers of vehicle servicing, repairs and MOTs across London and the surrounding counties. Our expert mechanics are on hand to provide advice and assistance regarding car battery problems, calling on years of experience in the industry to offer a fast and reliable solution.
Get in touch today for more information, or to book your car in for a full service.← How to Check your Tyre Pressure Vehicle Tax 2014 – What’s Changed? →