How to check a car battery

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A flat battery is the most likely cause for a breakdown

What can go wrong with a battery?

Nothing is more likely to cause your car to break down than a flat battery.

  • The power output drops.
  • The batteries ability to take a charge drops – so it doesn’t recharge as quickly when being driven.
  • The loading increases – with all those electrics being used to keep you warm and safe.

Disposal of old car batteries

Car batteries by law – must be disposed of separately from household waste – they can be collected at garages and many civic amenity and recycling centres – sometimes the specialist replacing the battery will dispose of the old one safely for you.

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Tips to keep your battery going

  • Check clamps and connections – to the battery are secure and free of corrosion.
  • Let the battery have time – turn off all items electrical – and dip the clutch to reduce the load on the battery when you start a cold car.
  • Loading – Switch off all electrics when parking – even leaving on overnight a boot light or radio can kill a battery if it’s cold.
  • Charge – When you make a lot of short journeys or leave the car standing for days at a time – try using a battery charger – these prolong a batteries life indefinitely without overcharging it.
  • Check the age – If the battery is more than five years old and is struggling to start the car – the best thing is to change the battery now – It will be much less of an inconvenience to do it when you decide rather than get caught out.

Beware!

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