Dead batteries cause most breakdowns

Hundreds of thousands of motorists are taking years off the life expectancy of their car’s battery by not regularly fully charging it, says the AA Rescue.

Every year up to one fifth of cars on the road will require a new battery, estimates AA Rescue, but many of these could have been prevented by being fully charged more frequently.

The problem stems from batteries taking longer to fully charge while being placed under greater demand by modern cars, which are being fitted with an ever increasing range of power-hungry ‘creature comforts’.

Noel Keogh, head of AA Rescue says: “It takes a lot longer to fully charge a modern car battery than many people realise – typically 240 miles/385 kilometres of driving with no load or eight hours of continuous driving – which can unfortunately lead to problems.

“If you only make short stop-start journeys, the battery won’t have the chance to fully charge, which will considerably shorten its life. We see cases where the battery has failed after only two to three years rather than the usual five to six as a result of only doing short journeys.

“At the same time, although battery technology has improved, they are made to work harder than ever before, as a modern car draws around three times as much electrical current as a 1970’s Morris Minor. The days of cars being fitted with wind-up windows are long gone and most new cars come with an assortment of electrical driver aids.”

He says this demand on the battery is why they are still our most common call-out after more than 100 years, accounting for around 30 per cent of breakdowns.


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