Vehicle owners are being urged to check the condition of their starter battery now, during the first cold snap of the winter.
Starter battery failures account for the majority of breakdowns, according to automobile associations like the RAC or the AA, triggered this year by fewer car journeys and a subsequent drop in battery voltage, which could lead to starting difficulties.
Nearly half of these type of breakdowns could be avoided if vehicle owners took better care of their batteries. Based on a few simple criteria, drivers can easily find out for themselves whether their battery is at risk of failing.
“But the safest way is to have the battery tested at a professional workshop,” said Andy Cook, battery expert at Clarios, the manufacturer of Varta batteries.
What if the battery fails the test and has to be replaced? In that case, the experts at Clarios advise drivers not to not to try this themselves.
While replacing the battery was relatively simple years ago, the technology is now highly complex and sensitive. The workshop has the necessary expertise and tools to replace the battery quickly and safely. This avoids damage to the vehicle’s electronics.
In addition, the professional workshop ensures that the battery is recycled, minimising the impact on the environment. This works so well that car batteries are the most recycled consumer product in the world’s major economies – even ahead of aluminium, paper, tyres and glass.
Together with customers and partners, Clarios has developed a reliable and proven collection system that ensures a closed-loop recycling system.
This makes it possible to collect over 98 per cent of lead batteries from vehicles in Europe and reuse a large proportion of their materials.
The plastic parts are processed into polypropylene chips for making new battery cases. The lead is again made available for battery production. The battery acid can be processed into fertilisers and cleaning agents.
To help drivers get through the winter safely, Clarios has launched an online tool, which offers an indication of the risk of battery failure. Vehicle owners can also search for a local Varta partner workshop on www.varta-automotive.com/.
Have your battery checked …
1. … if the battery in your car is more than four years old.
2. … if the last battery check at the workshop is already more than two years old.
3. … if your car has sat idle for a long period or has been moved only rarely (e.g. due to lockdown, holiday, illness).
4. … if you often use your car for short trips.
5. … if your car does not start immediately.
6. … if the engine sometimes continues to run at traffic lights despite start-stop mode.
7. … if you have many retrofitted electrical consumers in the vehicle (e.g. auxiliary or seat heating, sound system, insect repellent).
8. … if your car was exposed to high temperatures in summer.
9. … if you expect a cold winter or if you are planning a trip to cold regions.
“The more points that apply to your vehicle, the more urgently we advise a battery check in the workshop,” Cook added.