With winter on the horizon car owners have to be as careful as they can to avoid issues regarding breakdown. After all, the last thing anybody wants is to end up stuck in the middle of nowhere with a car problem caused by bad weather and poor preparation.
Car batteries are one of the most common causes of breakdown in winter and though they can die at any time, the colder weather encourages problems. The reason for this is down to the fact that the battery takes longer to charge during colder weather and doesn’t recharge as quickly. In addition, there is more need for the battery thanks to heaters, lights and other electronic devices going up in use. These two factors bounce off each other to cause faster draining of the battery and increase the likelihood of unreliability. So, let’s take a look to see if your battery looks like it’s suitable for the winter period.
Age is very important when deciding on how fit a battery is. If the battery is five years or more then it will take a little longer to charge and is more prone to break down. Ideally, you should replace the battery before it gets to this age and if it’s this old now, do so before this winter.
If you switch on the lights or the heat, then make sure that you switch it off when you get out of the car. Yes, it may seem obvious, but a lot of us tend not to turn off the lights when we get out of the car and this can cause a lot of battery use and be the cause of a drained battery. Anything from a boot light to a radio can cut the battery life in winter – so ensure they’re all off.
When you start your car, don’t put on every electrical device at once as this will cause significant problems for the car. Shut off all the lights and heating and dip the clutch to reduce the amount of power being taken. Also, be aware of electrical devices plugged into lighter connections among other things – these all drain the battery and cause issues.
At Alpha Batteries we’d say that cars need a good long journey to recharge, so if you only do the odd short distance and leave the car on the driveway for prolonged periods of time, then it’s a good idea to purchase a trickle charger. These items will help the battery stay in good condition for a period of time and prevent issues.
A overall winter check doesn’t tend to cost too much and most garages will take a look at your car for issues and ensure that all the clamps and connections are there and connected properly. They will also check for rust and the battery too. It’s worth it and can save a lot of hassle.
Batteries are often overlooked when it comes to the winter time, however by taking a little more care you can reduce issues and ensure your car is notably more reliable.
Mark Ryan is a lover of autos and driving and has owned cars for decades now. He loves old cars and tinkering with classics.