Battery problems? Yes it’s winter again, car lights seem like they are always on, the heater and probably the windscreen wipers too, it all takes it’s toll on the car battery. Here are a few tips to help you avoid and deal with a flat battery.
When all your getting is that dreaded coughing sound then perseverance and praying are not best ways to proceed.
Apply your foot to the clutch, by pressing the clutch pedal it allows the engine to turn more freely making less demand on the battery.
Turn off everything stereo, heaters, wipers etc, everything and remove any items that are charging, dash cams, navigation systems and phones anything plugged into the 12v socket. The battery needs all its energy if it’s going to start an engine.
Jump Leads are a great item to carry around if you know a battery is causing problems, people are usually kind enough to spare you five minutes. Once the other car’s battery has been connected to yours ask them to rev and start your engine then try not to turn it off until home. If you still cannot start the car then that battery is due a replacement as its not taking any charge.
If an engine is turning over slowly, dashboard lights or headlights are dim then check your battery. If your limping home then again unplug and turn off everything not needed.
Keep driving as this charges the battery.
Try to stay off those brake lights when sat at any junctions, brake lights are bright by design so they’ll cause a strain on a faulty battery. Put the handbrake on, take it out of gear and gently push the accelerator to create a charge.
CHECKING AND SERVICING
Corrosion or lose connectors could be the reason the battery is not charging, just pop the bonnet and take a look. A battery conditioner is a lifeline for an ageing battery, they can bring back older batteries from the edge and prolong life of new batteries.
Distilled water is what holds the charge in most car batteries so pop open the plugs on top down the centre and top up if needed.
If the battery is charging ok when placed on a charger but is losing gumption when put back in the car then the car is failing elsewhere and it’s probably time to seek professional help checking the alternator, solenoid, fan belt etc.
If you’ve conked out in the middle of traffic then try to push the car out of the way so it can be safely resurrected or abandoned.