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Winter Car Battery Maintenance

Friday, 1 December 2017  |  Tom

Don't get caught out with a flat battery this winter.

With winter now well and truly here and some serious frosts, now is the most important time to think about your car battery. What are the main problem areas, how can you spot them and what you should do to avoid any issues with your battery this winter.

According to the RAC, battery related problems are the biggest reason for breakdown call outs; the main causes are as follows:

  • Leaving your interior lights, headlights, car stereo or other electrical devices switched on
  • Problems with your battery charging system or something draining your battery while the vehicle is not being driven
  • Long periods of non use can drain a battery, equally lots of short journeys won't give the battery a chance to recharge properly
  • Extreme cold weather can damage or reduce the power from your battery; interestingly extreme hot weather can have the same effect
  • Poor maintenance, battery corrosion or ill fitting terminals
  • An old battery - even a good quality, well maintained battery will start to show sign of age after about 5 years of use

There are a few tell tale signs to look out for:

  • Problems starting your car, engine turn over sluggish or taking longer to start than normal
  • Electrical issues, fault or check messages appearing, dashboard lights dim or flickering
  • Terminal corrosion, low fluid levels, case damage/swelling or acid leakage
  • If your current battery is more than 5 years old, get it checked at your next service

How to avoid car battery problems:

  • Always buy a good quality battery and be sure it is the right specification for your car - particularly high powered vehicles with Stop/Start ignition
  • Extreme cold or heat will take its toll on your battery so garaging your car in winter is a good idea if possible and avoiding the hottest sun in summer
  • Be sure that all electrical devices are switched off and not draining your battery, particularly car stereos, interior lights, heated screens and alarms
  • Regular physical checks, look out for dirty/corroded terminals, loose or ill fitting cables, swollen battery casing, fluid leakage or any smell of sulphur
  • If you leave your car unused for long periods of time then consider buying a charger to keep your battery maintained in peak condition

If you have any queries or need help choosing the right replacement battery for your car please contact us on 0800 310 2100