During the winter months or cold spells, vehicle breakdowns are more common and are certainly more challenging to overcome than within the warmer months. However, there are things you can do to minimise your chances of experiencing a breakdown on the roads during the winter months, and many of these involve the vehicle’s battery, in one way or another…
Here’s the AGS checklist for maintaining your car battery health during winter motoring:
- Ensure that your battery is in optimum condition and is capable of holding a full charge BEFORE the cold months hit. Batteries which are past their prime will not hold a charge as well as a newer battery, and the cold weather will amplify this affect, meaning your vehicle may be difficult to start, or worse, will not re-charge to the required degree for your return journey, meaning that you could be ‘stuck in the sticks!’
AGS can check your battery condition for you…
- Ensure that your battery is fully charged. We all tend to use much more of the vehicle’s internal electrical systems during the winter and so batteries do take a hit.
- Get yourself a sponge de-mister pad. It’s easy to sit with the aircon blaring out to clear the fogged up windows, but a simple wipe around the windows will reduce the amount of time you have to run the aircon or heater, which saves vital electrical energy.
- Turn off electrical systems such as lights, heated rear windows and wipers before starting the engine. This will reduce the load on your battery.
- Turn of electrical systems you don’t need. If it’s not raining you don’t need wipers and if it’s light, the chances are you don’t need full headlights on, unless you are driving on the motorway in heavy rain.
- If you have trouble starting your car in the morning but eventually get going, don’t forget about it. The battery needs charging or your car needs a service. Charge your battery when you get home and if the issue persists, book the car in for a service and get the battery checked.
- Awkward cold starting. Turn of all electrical systems. Use short bursts to attempt to start the car. After a few attempts leave it for a minute before trying again. Don’t pump the accelerator pedal. Long bursts can wet the plugs making the starting attempt even more challenging. Patience is a virtue!