How can you stop your battery from going flat?

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A lot of us are using our cars less this year due to the impacts of coronavirus. So, how can you make sure your car isn't neglected?

  • We've only been using our cars for essential trips or work 
  • A flat battery is the last thing you need when you want to get out 
  • Let's make sure our cars stay in shape while they're being used less

Any trip will help to keep your battery alive and kicking

We've learned a lot this year, including the importance of keeping your car up and running while it's not being used. During the last lockdown period of 16th March to 4th July, LV= Britannia Rescue reported that battery related breakdowns were up almost 30% compared to the same period in 2019, which we can assume is due to us using our cars a lot less than normal during lockdown.

LV= Britannia Rescue also revealed that 54% of all claims made over a 24 hour period when the last lockdown was lifted, were due to vehicle engines failing to start. Experts say the issues are usually battery related and can be directly linked to motorists not using their car for long periods of time.

As we head into a new phase of lockdown, this time in the colder weather, LV= Britannia Rescue reminds us that breakdowns relating to batteries are typically 38% higher in winter months. So, what can we do to make sure our cars aren’t left neglected while we’re using them a little less this winter?

Charge your battery

Keep an eye on your battery and if it’s running down, give it a charge. If your battery keeps going flat, you may want to consider replacing it or getting it checked – especially if you’re using your car for essential work during these challenging times. As the weather gets colder, your car will be working extra hard, so it's more important than ever to make sure your battery is running ok. 

Turn your engine over

Essential trips such as food shopping, collecting medicine or going to work can be used to run your car over. Even if it’s a quick drive to do the food shop, any trip can help in maintaining good engine performance. If you’re not going out as much as you usually would, you can keep battery issues at bay by turning the engine over or taking a drive around the block until your vehicle is up to working temperature. If you do this and notice any engine warning lights come on, don't panic - garages are still open to carry out essential work and MOTs. 

Check your car and tyres

As the days get shorter and we find ourselves driving in the dark more than the light, you'll want to make sure your lights, rear reflectors and both indicators are clean and working, and that no lenses are cracked. 

Regularly checking your tyres is always important, no matter how often you use your car or how far you drive. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre and around its circumference. However, you should replace your tyres well before they get to the legal standard.

You may also want to check out our guide on winter car care to make sure your car is ready whatever the weather. So, while we’re all spending more time at home and less time in our cars, let’s not neglect them. Give them a clean, check their essentials and be road ready for the day you can head out to meet your loved ones. 

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