Important car battery advice

Forecasts of arctic weather sweeping the country may cause a great many motorists to ponder on the ability of their car battery to last them through a trouble-free winter.

There are a number of measures drivers can take to check that the battery is up to the job of getting the car started in the sub-zero temperatures we can expect next week to avoid what has become known as winter battery strain.

• Make sure the battery terminals are clean – dirty or moist surfaces can result in small leakage currents flowing from one terminal to the other, reducing cold starting capability.

• Remove the terminal clamps and lightly grease the terminals to protect against corrosion.

• In older technology lead acid batteries with accessible vent plugs, check that the water level is above the plates and top up if necessary with distilled water.

• Check the tension of the V-belt between the alternator and engine to guard against any slippage.

• Make sure there are no defective switches like a glove compartment, interior, or brake light already draining the battery.

If you do not fancy doing this yourself, or have a newer car with more complex electronics, there are many battery stockists offering free of charge battery tests at this time of year.

The best advice for complete peace of mind is to talk to them about upgrading your battery to a new one that they recommend will handle the demands of modern cars.

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