HERE are a few winter checks from the AA to ensure your car battery is in good working condition.
- Check the water (electrolyte) level to make sure it’s not too low (it must cover the fluid plates). If necessary, top it up with distilled water. Avoid overfilling and clean any spillage.
- Keep your car battery clean by wiping the terminals with warm (not hot) soapy water and remove any acid or dirt build-up, which could cause the battery to self-discharge quicker.
- Secure your car battery properly to make sure it doesn’t shift around under the bonnet.
- Charge your car battery regularly. If you typically only drive short distances or use your car infrequently, you may need to take a longer (one hour) drive every week to ensure the battery stays charged and maintain its lifespan.
- Switch off before you switch on. Make sure that you switch all other devices in your vehicle off when parking for the night. This includes the air-conditioner, radio, lights, seat warmers, windscreen wipers, and demisters. In cold weather, a fully-charged car battery provides less than half the power than in warm weather and you don’t need to lose unnecessary power.
- Alternator belts. Check the belts for fraying or cracking. A loose alternator belt is a common cause of battery failure.
- Service your car. Keep your car’s service book up to date and check your battery.