We all know that as the weather gets colder towards the end of the year your car needs a little more love and care to make sure it stays running as well as it should. One of the most important parts of your car which needs this extra love is the all important battery. The reason why your battery suffers more in colder weather is because the weather change impacts the chemical process which occurs within the vehicle battery in turn reducing the efficiency of it and can result in a flat battery and your car now starting.
So how can we try and avoid this happening? Well there are 10 key factors to help keep your battery full of power and running as efficiently as it can in this period and the first one is simple…keep on driving! Just by keeping your vehicle moving frequently in colder weather will be a major help in avoiding a flat battery as the battery can only charge whilst the engine is being used, preferably, not just for short journeys. If you’re concerned your car won’t be moving much over the winter or only doing short trips then you can use an external battery charger to keep your battery power topped up.
As well as keeping your car moving two other easy tips to help reduce the likelihood of a nasty surprise this winter are to switch off any unnecessary battery uses e.g. heaters, wipers and lights as well as any in car chargers and ease the strain when starting up the engine by depressing the clutch as the effort needed to start is then reduced.
Numbers 4, 5 and 6 are good measures to cover off before the winter months hit; firstly, give your battery a visual check for any corrosion etc which might expose it to the cold weather and secondly have any other engine starting systems checked over like the alternator. Number 6 is to have your car serviced ahead of the winter! Even things such as under inflated tyres can result in extra strain on the vehicle battery so a pre winter service should avoid anything like this catching you out!
This brings us to our last 4 top tips which are designed for what to do when you fear your battery is about to go flat or has gone flat. So, for number 7; Know the warning signs. If you hear clicks when you turn the ignition or the dashboard lights are looking dimmer your battery is likely to be going flat, this in turn brings us onto number 8 which is to not persevere once these signs are presenting themselves as if the engine is failing to recharge properly then pushing it on is likely just to drain it further.
For our penultimate winter battery tip it’s what to do if you are unfortunate enough to be hit with a flat battery; safety first! If you’ve broken down get yourself out of harm’s way! Finally, be prepared for how you can get yourself out of the situation; be prepared to jump start and keep a set of leads on you. Also, know how to safely use them!
We hope this helps keep your battery running safely and efficiently over the winter months!