With sub-zero temperatures and widespread snow forecast across the UK for the coming days, it is advisable to spare a thought for your car battery – or you risk being left out in the cold, literally!
Many motorists take their battery for granted, it is a case of out of sight, out of mind, until the moment your luck runs out and it dies.
Yet your battery is arguably the most important part of your car to protect in this weather and by sparing just a few moments at the beginning and end of every journey, as well as implementing a few good habits, you could save yourself a lot of hassle further down the road (if indeed you get that far).
For a start, you need to be aware that the average life of a battery is just three to five years, so if yours is older than this, the chances are it is already living on borrowed time.
Fortunately there are a few warning signs that your battery is on its last legs, such as a the cranking of the engine is slugging and takes longer than normal to start when the ignition key is turned and your headlights dim when the engine speed drops to an idle. Do not ignore these signs! Your battery will not suddenly magically gain a new lease of life. This is its way of telling you it is not long for this world. So act swiftly and get it replaced.
You can help to prolong the life of your battery by following a few simple steps to help preserve its power. Before you switch on the ignition make sure all the non-essentials, such as the radio, lights, heaters, seat warmers, windscreen demisters, are turned off – and don’t plug your phone or sat nav charger in before you have started the engine either. Common sense tells you the follow on from this is to make sure you switch all these off when you park your car at the end of your journey. You wouldn’t dream of getting out of your car without putting the handbrake on, so make flipping all the switches and dials off part of your routine too.
Remember short journeys will also take their toll on an ailing battery, because they will not give it chance to regain its charge. Leaving the engine running for a couple of minutes or driving to the end of the road will drain the energy from your battery and leave it with nothing to give next time it is called upon. Therefore, you need to clock up a good few miles and drive for at least 10 minutes so that your battery has chance to recharge after it gets the engine started in the first place.
Finally, there are times when the ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude is prudent, but not when it comes to your battery! If you suspect yours is on its last legs, do you really want to wait until it dies completely and leaves you stranded on a morning when you have a vital appointment or at the end of a long, hard day at work when you are rushing to get home?
Both scenarios beg the question, how are you going to get your car, which won’t start because it’s got a flat battery, to a garage to have a new battery fitted? A breakdown or recovery service will keep you waiting and you are likely to end up paying over the odds for a new battery, just so you can get back on the road again as quickly as possible.
If you replace your battery before it dies you are in control of the where and when and how much!
etyres not only supply a wide range of batteries to suit all vehicles and budgets, our mobile fitting service means we come to you, whether you are at home or work, so you don’t have the hassle of going to a garage or calling out a breakdown service.
Denna Bowman, Head Office