How to check a car battery health

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A flat battery is the most likely cause for a breakdown

There’s nothing more terrifying than your car not starting.

You hear it stutter, fight with all it’s might…but nothing happens.

In all likelihood, you’ve just got a flat battery the most common reason for cars refusing to start.

Thankfully, it’s quite easy to keep on top of your battery, to make sure this never happens again!

Here’s a quick guide on everything you need to know about your car battery.

What can go wrong with a car battery?

There are a few things that can cause a car battery to malfunction, such as:

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

Most batteries from reputable companies come with a couple of year warranty on them, so you shouldn’t have any problems during this term – if you do, you should get in touch to claim your replacement!

How can I keep my battery going?

Eventually, your battery will stop functioning – that’s just part of motoring. No battery lasts forever!

However, there are a few things you can do to keep it going for as long as possible:

  • Check clamps and connections: Make sure these are secure and free of corrosion. You can see them when you pop open the bonnet next to the battery: assess it visually, don’t stick your hands in!
  • Let the battery have time to recharge: If your car won’t start, turn off the electrics in the car and dip the clutch to reduce the load on the battery when you start a cold car.
  • Loading: Switch off all electrics when parking, as 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 can prolong a battery’s life indefinitely without overcharging it.
  • Check the age: If the battery is more than five years old and is struggling to start the car, you should just buy a new one! The hassle required to keep it going isn’t worth it!

Can I change the battery myself?

If you have someone who can help show you how to do it, or you’re confident enough to follow your cars manual to the T, then yes.

However, if you’re a new and inexperienced driver, we’d strongly recommend that you get a qualified mechanic to change the car battery!

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