Your car’s battery running out of juice can throw a real spanner in the works, especially if you are midway through a long journey or just about to set off to work. Batteries are more susceptible to running out of power during the winter months as the lower temperatures can change the chemical processes within the battery, affecting how it works.
Flat batteries are the number one reason for calling the emergency breakdown services, but there are ways that you can take care of your battery to sustain its power for longer. We share our top tips on how to avoid a flat car battery.
Look out for the warning signs
There are certain signals that identify a poorly performing battery, including:
- Clicking noises as you turn the ignition
- Dimming of the dashboard lights
- Slow turning over of the engine
Try to make long journeys
Although you might think short journeys would conserve a car battery’s power, it can actually have the opposite effect as there is not enough time for the engine and alternator to recharge it. Taking longer journeys when you can will allow the car to recharge its battery.
Switch off unnecessary equipment
In today’s cars, there are many features that rely on power from the battery - for instance, the heater and lights - and if you don’t turn them off, they can cause a considerable drain on the life of your battery. Additionally, if you fail to unplug any portable devices from the USB or cigarette lighter ports, you will hinder the battery’s performance while driving.
When exiting your car, making sure your interior lights are switched off before locking the car will save you from making a costly mistake.
Carry out occasional checks
It is worth having a professional take a look at your battery, alternator, starting and charging systems every once in awhile or if you suspect something to be wrong. If any of these are malfunctioning, this could result in overcharging, undercharging or complete failure to charge the battery, which can all have an impact on your battery life.
Likewise, it is important to have your whole vehicle serviced to ensure that nothing is hindering the battery’s performance, such as underinflated tyres. You can keep an eye on tyre pressure with a monitoring device. Here at Snooper, we have easy-to-use tyre pressure monitoring systems available, browse our range here.
You should do a check of the battery yourself every time you lift the bonnet to keep an eye out for corrosion.
Give it a jump start
If you breakdown due to a flat battery, an effective fix might be to jump start the car.