Winter Tips: How to prevent a flat battery during the cold season present its top tips for avoiding a flat car battery this winter

The battery is arguably the most important piece of kit in your car. If it has run flat, your vehicle simply won’t start, regardless of its overall reliability. Auto batteries are particularly temperamental during the winter months and can take a real battering if they are not cared for correctly.
A few weeks ago, we posted a blog about safe motoring in the wintertime, where we touched briefly upon battery care. However, this week we’re going in-depth, offering our top tips for protecting your car battery from the elements.

Winter tips: How to prevent a flat battery during the winter season

A vehicle broken down on a bypass
© Copyright william and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

According to the AA, a flat battery is the biggest cause for breakdown in the UK, especially in winter. Here are our top tips for avoiding battery trouble during this chilly season:
1) The Big Switch Off – Our tips begin with the most obvious, however, this makes it equally the most important: remember to turn everything off in your car when you turn off the ignition, including interior lights and heating. Also, don’t forget to unplug any devices you might have connected to your system, as these can also drain your battery to critical levels.
2) Visual Inspection – Performing a regular visual check of your battery can help you to spot signs of corrosion. Finding an issue before it worsens can save you time, money, and the hassle of discovering a flat battery during your morning rush for work.
3) Take it To a Professional – An expert can check all the mechanical elements connected to the battery, including the charging system, alternator, and starting motor. Troubleshooting is the best way to avoid a sticky situation.
4) Spot the Signs – There can be some indications that your car battery is suffering from low charge, including the dimming of lights (interior and exterior), a lagging engine, and unusual noises during ignition.
5) Give it a Boost – If you spot any of the signs mentioned above, or if your vehicle is used mainly for short, local journeys, your battery could be in need of a boost. This can be achieved by taking a longer journey or by using a plug-in battery charger.
6) When It’s Flat, It’s Flat – If your vehicle does not start up after a few attempts, the worst thing to do it to keep trying; this will only cause permanent damage to your battery.
7) Jump Leads – Our last piece of advice will not help to prevent a flat battery, but it will definitely help if the worst does happen. We suggest all motorists keep a set of jump leads in the boot of their vehicle. These could be vital in the event of an emergency or if you breakdown in a dangerous area.
However, if you’re unfortunate enough to breakdown, the most important consideration is your safety, your passengers’ safety, and the safety of fellow road users. Always seek help as soon as possible and try to move from unsafe areas if you can without endangering your safety.
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