Tips to help your car battery survive the cold winter

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Winter puts an additional strain on car batteries, because the colder it gets the more power our engines need to get them started. Couple this with the extra demands motorists put on their car batteries at this time of year, such as heaters, lights, seat warmers, windscreen wipers, not to mention their usual sat nav and mobile phone chargers, and it is plain to see why flat batteries are the cause of so many breakdown call-outs at this time of year.

Breakdown cover specialist GEM Motoring Assist has put together a list of advice compiled by its technical team which will help car batteries last for longer:

* Don’t overwork the battery when you’re trying to start your car. If your engine does not start first time, operate the starter in ten second bursts and then turn the ignition off for 30 seconds, before trying again.

* If your car won’t start or feels lethargic when you turn the key, then you could well have a flat battery. The way to check is by switching on your headlights. If they’re weak or they don’t work, then your car battery is flat.

* ‘Bump starting’ a car could offer a one-off solution to get you going, provided it’s safe. However, if it doesn’t work at the first attempt then don’t try again, because unburned fuel is likely to damage your car’s catalytic converter. This method is not suitable for automatic cars
‘Jump starting’ requires a set of jump leads and either a power pack or donor car. There are dangers associated with jump starting, so make sure you know what you’re doing.

* When your car engine has started, get the car battery checked as soon as possible to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again.

* Turn off any electrical accessories as soon as they are no longer required. Heated rear windscreens tend to work in conjunction with heated mirrors and consume a lot of electrical energy.

* The dashboard warning light only advises when your car battery is not receiving any charge. It does not indicate a flat battery.

* If you only tend to cover short journeys, it is prudent to take your car for a longer run, of at least 20 miles, which will help recharge the battery to an acceptable level.

etyres supply and fit a wide range of car batteries to suit every vehicle. Its price for a brand new car battery includes fitting, disposal of the old battery and VAT – plus every car battery supplied and fitted by etyres comes with a three year guarantee.

etyres customers also benefit from its mobile service which means they can have their new car battery fitted at their home or work – which is even more convenient if the vehicle will not start due to a flat battery.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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