The lockdown assault on your battery | Motoring Issues - Car News May 2020

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11:49 Wednesday 06 May 2020

Sales figures from KwikFit have highlighted something which has been my own personal experience this week.

Like many other motorists who are working from home at present and making only short, infrequent drives for essential grocery shopping, I turned the ignition key yesterday to find my battery as flat as a pancake.

In fact, KwikFit have seen sales of new batteries double in the past month as the increased demands of starting cold engines has led to failure levels usually only experienced in winter months.  It is not just older vehicles either, with sales of batteries for newer start/stop enabled cars also up by 10 per cent compared to April 2019.

KwikFit have issued some handy tips to prevent battery problems during lockdown.  If you are not using your car at all, start it up once or twice a week and let the engine run for 15 minutes, of course while the car is outside and with you in it.  Try to do this during the warmer part of the day rather than first thing in the morning, as a cold engine takes more effort for the battery to start.  Check the battery terminals for signs of corrosion, and clean any corrosion and residue away from the terminals to allow for a good clean connection.

Consider buying a trickle charger which  can keep your battery charge topped up, either a solar powered trickle charger or, if your car is on a driveway or in a garage, a mains powered trickle charger. Finally, check your battery’s age, which can usually be found marked on the battery.  A battery more than five years old may be at increased risk of failure, especially if the car is only making short or infrequent trips.


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