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How to Care for Your Car Battery This Winter

With December now upon us and the cold weather really setting in, drivers around our area and throughout the UK should be aware of a host of problems and risks associated with winter driving.

Unfortunately, a shared experience for many drivers this year will be the one where they get into their vehicle, turn the ignition and nothing happens. When the temperature drops and your car simply won’t start, a common cause is your vehicle battery running flat.

The cold, damp weather can cause real problems for electrical systems. This is made worse by the fact that cars are using a lot more power during these months because of various electrical systems being used more frequently, such as heating systems and other accessories.

The Problem

The problem is the cold temperatures that hit around this time of year which adversely affects the chemical processes that actively maintain the charge of the battery. This affects the ability of the battery to store electricity, especially if the battery in question is more than five years old.

The result can be that the power output of your battery drops precipitously or even runs flat in a very short space of time, leaving you with a problem to solve.

Steps You Can Take

Fortunately, there are a few steps that car owners can take to get the best performance out of their car battery this winter.

  1. Before you turn off your ignition at the end of journey, make sure that everything that draws on power is also switched off
  2. Don’t use devices that use up high levels of power for longer than absolutely necessary
  3. Make sure that interior lights are not left on for the duration of your journey and try to avoid plugging in devices like phone charges or satellite navigation systems
  4. If possible, keep your car parked in the garage or somewhere where it is not quite as exposed to the elements
  5. Test your battery on a regular basis to see how it is performing. At the very least get it tested before starting a journey
  6. If your battery is more than five years old or if it is showing signs of poor performance, consider getting it replaced

If you have any concerns with the condition of your car’s battery bring it in to the Derek Campbell Tyre and Exhaust Centre and have one of our technicians carry out a free battery check.

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