The Importance Of Effective Car Battery Care
It may not be winter just yet but the darkness and cold temperatures are around the corner. Now is as good a time as any to make sure your car battery and lights are in good working order. Did you know that a fifth of all breakdowns is as a result of a failing or faulty car battery? Let’s face it, other than a flat tyre, nothing is quite as frustrating as turning the key and your car refusing to start.
Most car battery problems happen almost without warning and the risk of complete failure is significantly higher in winter. In fact, extreme winter temperatures can reduce the lifespan of your car battery. Of course, we don’t have control over weather conditions but we can prepare and minimise the risks.
Caring For Your Car Battery
Like your mobile phone and laptop, a car battery is also rechargeable which means it will eventually deteriorate. Remember, batteries can only take so many recharge cycles before you need to consider replacing it.
Winter can be challenging for your car battery considering freezing temperatures, heavy rain, ice and snow. It’s essential that you perform basic car maintenance to avoid any unexpected and costly bills. When you’re not using your car, keep it in a garage to protect the battery against the elements.
Something you should really consider getting is a car battery booster. For those who don’t know, it’s a rechargeable device that you can clip onto your flat battery for an instant boost. It’s the perfect solution when you can’t find your jump leads or when you can’t wait for a conventional car battery charger to do the work.
How Long Should A Car Battery Last?
While cold weather can cause your battery to die, hot temperatures are often even worse. Extreme heat can lead to oxidisation which can drastically reduce the life expectancy. A car battery typically has a 3 – 4 year lifespan but it depends on your usage and the type of battery. Keep an eye out for these major signs that your battery could be in trouble:
- Your engine takes a long time to start or it doesn’t start at all
- The check battery light on your dash appears
- Low or no power for some electrics inside your car
- If you already had to jump start it a several times
- You need to rev more frequently
- Dimming headlights
If you have any concerns, don’t delay and book a FREE battery check at your nearest Elite Garage service centre.
Tips For Starting Your Car
While you should do regular battery checks, you can’t always know when a dead battery will occur. That said, if you are experiencing issues starting your car out of the blue, these tips could help get you going again. If you suspect anything is wrong though, we recommend that you visit your nearest service centre.
- Engage the clutch pedal when starting the car to reduce the load on your battery
- Ensure that your tank is always topped up or at least half full
- Give the battery time to recover between repeated starting attempts
- You can use car battery blankets to keep it warm
- Turn off all electrical items before starting your car and before switching off the ignition as they can quickly drain your battery
Read this article for more helpful advice: ‘Car Batteries In The Cold’
Quick Battery Maintenance Tips
Before the cold weather hits, check your electrical system including battery and alternator. Use a voltmeter to make sure everything in good condition. For anyone taking frequent short trips, make sure you keep the battery fully charged at all times.
Don’t forget to maintain components around your battery as well. Check that cables, posts and fasteners are in good shape and that terminals are clean and tight. If there is any corrosion, remove it using a stiff wire brush and secure the battery to the battery tray to prevent excessive vibration.
Check exterior lights
It’s not only a car battery that requires special attention as your lights need to be in perfect working order. In darker and colder weather conditions, visibility is already poor and bad lights can seriously affect your view of the road. Not only that, if your lights don’t work, others will also have difficulty seeing you.
Checking that your lights are working should be a top priority in car maintenance. Your headlamps must be in the correct position and without any dirt and salt build-up. When cleaning your lights, use a damp cloth to avoid scratching the lenses. An excellent piece of advice is to dip your headlamps slightly so you don’t blind oncoming drivers.
Vehicle Safety And Battery Checks At Elite Garages
If you are experiencing any issues with your car battery or have any concerns about the age or charging ability, give Elite Garages a call. Our expert technicians will carry out an extensive battery check using the latest testing equipment. It won’t cost you anything and we offer advice on any parts that may need replacing. For your convenience, we stock a large selection of car batteries for most makes and models.
In addition, we also provide car servicing, MOTs, tyres, brakes, exhausts, suspension, wheel alignment and diagnostics among others. Our FREE safety check will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your family will be safe.