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Keep your Car Battery in Working Order Over Christmas

Car batteries are the number one cause of breakdowns during winter as they are placed under additional strain from the demands of cold weather. Look after your car battery and keep it in good condition with this helpful guide from PTA Garage Services.

Why Do Car Batteries Struggle in Winter?

Car batteries face additional strain in winter due to a combination of factors. The cold weather can affect the chemical processes which occur in the battery and this can make it less effective. When temperatures drop, we also demand more from our batteries - using heating, air conditioning (to remove condensation from inside the windscreen), lights and windscreen wipers more frequently than usual. In addition, over Christmas, many cars may not be used as often as usual, therefore you increase the possibility of your battery going flat.

Why Do Car Batteries Struggle in Winter?

Keep your Battery Warm and Clean

To safeguard your car battery against cold winter weather, park your car in a garage overnight rather than outside, if this option is available to you. This will help to keep your battery from standing in extremely low temperatures and may enable it to function optimally.

You should also visually inspect your car battery to make sure that it is clean, gently removing bits of dirt or grease if you find them. Look out for any signs of corrosion on the battery or battery terminals and contact a specialist if you do find cause for concern.

Keep your Battery Warm and Clean

Exercise your Battery

The cold can reduce a car battery’s ability to accept a charge so it won’t recharge as quickly when driving. This means that during shorter journeys your battery may not charge at all and for this reason, we would advise against only using your car for short journeys in winter.

Furthermore, keeping your car standing for longer periods of time, as often happens during the festive season, will also damage your battery. Keep it in good health by driving a fairly long distance every now and again to enable the battery a good chance to fully recharge.

Switch Off Electricals

Take care to switch off all electrical items when you leave the car so as to avoid draining the battery while it is standing. Try to turn off items such as sat navs, phone chargers and the radio before you switch off your engine so that your battery doesn’t waste charge trying to power them as soon as you turn it on again.

Get a FREE Battery Health Check

Before you face cold winter weather, PTA Garage Services would recommend undertaking a full health check to ensure that your battery won’t let you down.

If your battery is over three years old or you have noticed it struggling (your headlights appear dimmer, your engine is slow to turn over or you hear a rapid clicking when you turn the ignition key) we would advise getting it checked.

Contact your local branch to make an appointment for a free battery health check.