How to keep your battery working this winter
Winter seems to be here all of a sudden! We’re all having to wrap up warm and allow that bit of extra time in the mornings to defrost the car. But as well as the outside of our car being affected by the cold weather, it’s important to remember that there can also be things going on inside the car that we need to be aware of.
One of the main problems that we can face in winter is a flat battery. In cold weather, your car needs to use more power from the battery to get the engine going. This means that if your battery is not being well looked after, you may be faced with a car that does not start.
So what kind of things can you do to maintain your battery in good condition? Here are five things that will help:
- Turn everything off at your destination
When arriving at any destination go through a quick check of everything that you need to turn off. If you leave anything on – such as car lights, radio or air conditioning – this will drain energy from your battery. It is also best to make sure that all these are off before you start up your car to help minimise the battery power that is needed to start your car.
- Minimise short journeys
Wherever possible try to minimise the number of short journeys that you make in your car. When you consider that most of your battery power goes on starting up your car, and that your battery charges as you drive, it makes sense that longer journeys are better for your battery as they give it time to charge. Lots of short journeys put strain on your battery due to the frequent starting up with not much charging time to follow.
- Insulate your battery
Keeping your battery warm throughout winter will help to preserve its life. If you can keep your car in an insulated garage this is ideal, but for many people this is not an option. The good news is that if you don’t have an insulated garage, you can insulate the battery. l you need to do is purchase a battery sleeve from either a car manufacturer or auto store. Battery sleeves are usually made of hard plastic or an acid-resistant cloth, and are made to fit the size and shape of your battery. You can also get insulation kits for batteries with a plastic pad to go under the battery and adhesive material that applies directly to the battery.
- Maintain your battery
One major thing that can cause battery failure is corrosion, particularly around the battery terminals. This can stop your battery from charging properly. Corrosion is usually caused by sulphuric acid leaking from the battery. As it evaporates it leaves deposits on the battery terminals. If this happens the best thing to do is seek professional help to clean it off thoroughly and also check the clamps and connections of your battery for further corrosion.
- Time for change?
Even if you treat your battery well, there will come a time when it does need to be replaced. Batteries gradually lose their ability to charge and eventually get to the point where the can no longer hold charge at all. So this winter you do need to think about how old your battery is; if it is five years old or more then it may be time to change it so as to avoid battery failure.
If it is time to change your battery but funds are low then one option could be to use one of our logbook loans to raise the money to buy a new one. To find out more – or apply online – visit our website. Or you can call us on 0330 400 4137. However you get in touch with us, we will help to keep you on the road this winter!