Avoid battery bother | Advice - Car News Jan 2021

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12:03 Wednesday 27 Jan 2021

What with lockdown and the arrival of harsh winter weather most drivers will be using their car much less frequently, but road safety and breakdown experts GEM Motoring Assist have published tips on how to make sure your car will start when you finally need it.

Many cars have been laid up or called upon for short local journeys only, a perfect storm scenario for battery troubles especially with another cold snap forecast for the end of the week.

GEM Motoring Assist chief executive Neil Worth explained: “Cold weather slows everything down, including the chemical reactions that take place inside car batteries. It’s estimated that when the temperature is at 0 degrees Celsius, a battery loses 35 per cent of its effectiveness.  Our recovery agents attend more calls to flat batteries than any other car breakdown.”

The average life of a car battery is five years, but even newer batteries may let you down if they have been unused for a long period of time.

GEM Motoring Assist advise that if the engine won’t start but there is a slight noise from under the bonnet, the chances are your battery is flat, while no noise at all would suggest there is either a loose connection on the battery or it has no charge left at all.  The first sign of trouble may be your car’s remote central locking, which won’t work if the battery is flat.

Their tips on what to do to keep you on the road include checking the age of your battery to pre-empt a decline in its performance.  As service centres and garages are allowed to remain open during lockdown you should be able to book a battery check and replacement if needs be.  They also suggest that if you plan not to drive your car for the foreseeable future, it may be worth considering a trickle charger that you can attach to the battery and which works by releasing a small amount of current to match the natural discharge rate.


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