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How to avoid getting a flat battery

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How to avoid getting a flat battery

As with all components of a motor vehicle, a battery needs to be maintained in order to avoid problems such as going flat. A car that does not have a working battery will simply not start, regardless of the condition of the engine. There are a number of effects that cold weather has on batteries – it can slow down the inner chemical processes and even result in the current being so low that it is unable to crank up the engine, resulting in the car being unable to start.

No one wants to wake up to a flat battery, especially on a work day, so it makes sense to ensure that your car battery is maintained in the best condition possible, especially during winter. The main cause of breakdown callouts in the UK during winter is dead car batteries, so what can drivers do to avoid getting a flat battery?


Drive as much as you can
A large number of short journeys actually puts the most strain on a car battery, because the alternator and engine do not have enough time to recharge the battery back to optimum levels again. Longer journeys, on the other hand, are actually a good thing as the car has more of an opportunity to recharge. An alternative to making a greater number of longer journeys in winter is to buy an external battery charger instead.


Easing the strain
You can help to ease the strain on your vehicle by making sure that the clutch is depressed when you start the engine. This cuts down on the amount of effort required to start the car, reducing some of the battery’s load.


Servicing your vehicle
Vehicles that aren’t properly maintained can cause batteries to come under additional strain. Keep your car in a garage rather than outside in cold weather, and make sure that your engine is not overworked and that tyres are inflated to the correct amount. Getting your battery inspected by a professional is also a good idea.


Accept failure
If your battery is unable to start the engine of your vehicle, it is a good idea to just accept that fact rather than continue to try. Not only is a flat battery not going to recharge itself, but constantly retrying can make it even worse and result in permanent damage.


Jump starting
There are some emergency situations in which jump starting your car may be necessary. Make certain that you are aware of the procedure and that you have jump leads accessible within your vehicle.


Switching off
The technology in modern cars eat up a lot of energy and can drain a car battery surprisingly quickly if left on. The biggest causes of a flat battery are heaters and lights, though a 12V supply and USB with items plugged in can also drain a charge at an alarming rate. Leaving interior lights on overnight can be a big mistake, so make sure that they and everything else is switched off before leaving your vehicle.

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