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How to Prepare your Car Battery for Winter
26th October 2015
Car battery faults are the most common cause of winter breakdowns so it is important that you look after your battery when the temperature starts to drop.
Car batteries are susceptible to failure at any time of year, however, this becomes more of a risk during winter due to the following factors:
- The battery’s ability to accept charge is lowered, so it takes longer for the battery to recharge whilst driving.
- The use of battery powered appliances increases (eg; lights, heaters and wipers).
- Vehicles are more likely to be left standing over the festive period, enabling the battery to drain.
Preventing Battery Failure
Battery failure can be avoided if you maintain it correctly. Take a look at these steps you can take to help to prevent your battery from failing during the colder months:
- Get your battery checked before the temperature starts to drop to ensure that it is in good working condition to survive winter. Most car batteries should last for around four years, but if you are in any doubt visit your local Merityre specialists for a free battery check.
- Ensure that you switch off everything electrical when you park your vehicle. This includes wipers, lights, heating and the radio, as it only takes something as small as an interior light being left on all night to drain your battery during cold weather.
- Avoid using your car exclusively for shorter journeys as this places unnecessary strain on the battery. Instead, try to exercise it by going for longer drives and giving your battery the opportunity to charge itself.
- If possible, store your car in a garage rather than outside as the colder the battery becomes, the more reduced its energy levels will be.
How to Tell your Car Battery is Failing
There are a number of warning signs that you should check for over winter to tell if your car battery is failing. These symptoms include:
- Your engine turns over or cranks but doesn’t start
- Your engine takes longer to turn over
- You have trouble starting your vehicle more than three times a week
- Your headlights appear dimmer
- You notice the following warning sign appear on the dashboard:
If you notice any of these problems then you should have you battery checked as soon as possible. Ignoring warning signs can leave you at risk of waking up to battery failure and finding yourself without transport.