Higher risk of flat batteries in new lockdown, warns Kwik Fit
Fleet drivers could be at increased risk of breakdowns due to flat batteries in the third lockdown, as winter conditions take their toll alongside the Christmas holiday period.
Kwik Fit has warned that while there is always a spike in battery problems in the first weeks of January due to the Christmas holidays, the lockdown will make the situation much worse this year due to the nation being encouraged to make only essential journeys and keep them as short as possible.
And with forecasters predicting wintry weather and lower temperatures, the problems these driving patterns bring to batteries will be magnified.
As essential businesses, garages can remain open during the lockdown to help drivers who need their battery replacing.
But Kwik Fit has also published some key tips to help motorists avoid problems altogether:
- Batteries have to work harder to start an engine in colder weather – if possible, start the car during the middle of the day, not on a cold, frosty morning
- If a car is not being driven frequently, start it once or twice a week and run the engine for at least 15 minutes (the car must be outside and the driver should stay in the car)
- Assess the likelihood of upcoming problems – most batteries show their date of manufacture – a battery over five years old may be at risk of failure, especially if the car is not being used often
- If a car is parked on a driveway or garage, it could be connected to a trickle charger which can keep the battery charge topped up. Drivers should always follow the guidance in their owners’ handbook prior to using a trickle charger
- As well as checking the battery, drivers should check other items which are vital for winter driving, including levels of coolant/antifreeze and screenwash, condition of windscreen wiper blades and tyre tread depths and pressures.
For those drivers concerned about the condition of their battery, Kwik Fit also offers a free battery health check in its centres.