GEM Motorist Assist Reveals Winter Battery Woes
Oh dear. Gem Motoring Assist has revealed that battery failure accounts for more than half its winter call-outs. Now, battery problems come in various shapes and sizes and caused by cold weather, age, alternator failure or to many stop/starts, etc. Typical symptoms include an engine that - when the motorist tries to start it - spins but fails to fire. Repeated attempts can ensure it stops spinning. Furthermore, failure can be indicated by a repeated ticking sound when the vehicle tries to start. Oh dear (again). Fortunately, the breakdown specialist has revealed its top tips for looking after a battery:
GEM Tips For Looking After A Car Battery
“Don’t overwork the battery when you’re trying to start your car. If your engine does not start first time, operate the starter in ten second bursts and then turn the ignition off for thirty seconds before trying again.
If your car won’t start or feels lethargic when you turn the key, then you could well have a flat battery. The way to check is by switching on your headlights. If they’re weak or they don’t work then your battery is flat.
Bump starting a car could offer a one-off solution to get you going, provided it’s safe. However, if it doesn’t work at the first attempt then don’t try again because unburned fuel is likely to damage your car’s catalytic converter. This method is not suitable for automatic cars.
Jump starting requires a set of jump leads and either a power pack or donor car. There are dangers associated with jump starting, so make sure you know what you’re doing.
When your car engine has started, get the battery checked as soon as possible to ensure the problem doesn’t happen again.
Turn off any electrical accessories as soon as they are no longer required. Heated rear windscreens tend to work in conjunction with heated mirrors and consume a lot of electrical energy.
The dashboard warning light only advises when your car battery is not receiving any charge. It does not indicate a flat battery.
If you only tend to cover short journeys, it is prudent to take your car for a longer run, of at least 20 miles, which will help recharge the battery to an acceptable level.
Batteries, like most items, have a finite life. Although there are products available to prolong battery life, they are only delaying an inevitable new purchase.“