Beat the Winter Temperatures
If you've never come to your car on a cold, winter's morning to find the battery is completely flat then consider yourself lucky. In fact, it's a common problem that affects over 200,000 motorists on a yearly basis, according to leading battery manufacturer, Yuasa.
Although it's impossible to predict when your car's battery will die, there are a few measures you can take to avoid the inconvenience, which we've highlighted below.
Why does cold weather cause car battery issues?
Without boring you too much, your car's battery creates a chemical reaction that produces a charge, which is used to power the starter motor, among other components such as the headlights.
The colder weather slows down the chemical process within the battery, and therefore reduces its ability to hold charge. It's worth noting that this is primarily an issue for older batteries; if yours is less than three years old it shouldn't be an issue.
How to keep your car battery charged in winter
If you use your car on a regular basis, then you shouldn't need to worry about keeping the battery charged during winter since the car's alternator will ensure it's fully charged.
However, if you have an older battery, which we typically class as being three years or older, there are a few things you can do to avoid it going flat.
- Invest in a trickle charger: As the name suggests, these useful devices slowly charge the battery, therefore keeping it at maximum capacity. We recommend these for weekend cars being stored over winter.
- Keep the car covered: If you have the luxury of a garage, then it's worth utilising that space and keeping the car out of the direct cold.
- Take precautions: Little things, like ensuring all of the lights are off before exiting the car, will help reduce the chance of a flat battery.
Tips for maintaining your car's battery
In reality, if your car's battery is old and on the way out, there's only so much the methods above can do to prevent the inevitable. However, there are a number of things you can do to enhance the lifespan of the battery:
- Drive the car: Your car is fitted with something called an alternator, which charges the battery as you drive. Vehicles driven regularly will have a healthier battery than an equivalent car that isn't used much.
- Battery check: A lot of modern car batteries have useful gauges on them that indicate the level of charge, so it's worth making the most of that feature if it's available.
- Leave it to the professionals: There's no harm in getting a trained technician to inspect the health of your car's battery, which you can have completed through one of our Vehicle Health Checks.
Get your battery tested at Evans Halshaw
Although it can be difficult to beat the cold, there are methods for ensuring your vehicle's battery remains in good working order. Plus, if you follow the tips above, you'll be able to prolong the life of the battery, which is always a bonus.
Naturally, if you don't feel comfortable inspecting the battery yourself, then you can book a Vehicle Health Check at any your nearest Evans Halshaw retailer, who will be more than happy to look at the battery's condition and advise you.