With news of cold weather on the way, we’re dreading the awful scraping-deicing routine when we’re already 15 minutes late to work. But one of the biggest kicks in the teeth when you’ve scraped until your hands are sore, and you’ve sworn you’ve scratched your windscreen, and your car won’t even start. According to the RAC, the main reason for that is the effect that the cold, damp weather can have on your car battery.
This happens because the cold weather affects the chemical process that occurs inside the battery that generates and stores the electricity that is then provided to the car. As with many things during the cold weather, it slows it down and prevents the battery from being able to effectively hold its charge.
With older cars, it’s even worse. The older the battery, the worse its ability to hold its charge in the first place and when conditions are bad, it could even lead to the battery discharging or even going flat very quickly. If you’re having issues with your battery, the best solution most of the time is simply getting it replaced - you can find the right battery easily for you on the Halfords website - but if you want some general tips to maintain your battery during the upcoming cold-snap, we’ve got those for you right now!
Switch off all your lights, wipers and heaters at the end of your journey. This will prevent any undue strain on your battery when you start your car up again, allowing it to generate and hold charge smoothly.
Make sure that you check everything is switched off before starting your engine.
In some cases, even phone, ipod and satnav chargers can also cause the battery to drain if left plugged in, so make sure those are disconnected as soon as you are done using them.
If you are using your car for regular short journeys, it might be worth investing in a car battery charger to top it up - you can find these in a range of places.
Avoid using heated screens or heated seats for longer than necessary, as these put a notoriously high-strain on car batteries.
For professional advice, make sure to get your car battery properly tested before regular use in cold weather - a battery comfort indicator can also be a worthwhile purchase to check that your battery is still working as it should before you set off.
Keep yourself safe out there, Autosainters! Driving in the cold can be a tricky mistress, and we’re always here to help.
If you need to renew your car insurance and between the ages of 17-24, see how telematics insurance from Autosaint can give you a better quote.