Be prepared for a flat car battery

Car battery maintenance

Be prepared for a flat car battery especially in the winter months and when your vehicle is in storage or underused. Preparedness, proactively being ready in the event of a flat battery could prevent you from being stranded.

During this unprecedented time with the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (COVID19) pandemic, preparedness is paramount to our safety. At the time of writing the United Kingdom, many parts of Europe and the wider world are in lockdown with restricted movement. However, we need to be ready to leave the house in the event of a household or family emergency. It is at this time and times like this that we need to be prepared for a flat car battery.

Steps you can take to maintain your car battery:

Due to the virus in the UK we are able to leave the house for short periods for exercise. Use this time periodically throughout the week to check on the maintenance of your car. For example to avoid flat spots on the tyres try moving the car backwards or forwards to rotate the wheels. Where applicable add extra tyre pressure by as much as 3psi but stay within the tyre maximum as stated on the tyre. But remember that simple actions such as opening and closing the car door will contribute to battery drain.

Modern cars tend to have powerful, high performance batteries that need little to no maintenance. However, while the car is stationary for days or weeks the battery may drain. Cold weather, human error by leaving doors open or lights on can be a factor.

The following is a list of steps you can take to be prepared for a flat car battery

  1. Read your car owners manual to locate the battery and how to maintain it
  2. Physically check the battery for corrosion
  3. Check the condition of the cables
  4. Check the type of battery that you have in your vehicle. You may need this information in the event that you need to charge it or replace it
  5. Use a fully automatic maintenance car charger to condition and maintain a charge in the battery

What if I have a dead battery?

There is an inevitability that many cars around the world will fail to start the very moment you need it most. Try and plan using the maintenance advice above. Anticipate the the tsunami of calls the breakdown and recovery organisations will receive once people are able to leave home following the pandemic.

As a recommendation in addition to having an automatic maintenance car charger, purchase a portable jump starter. There are many available on the market with some not much bigger than a mobile phone and yet able to jump start a 6.0L petrol car.

WheelsMatter tested the Arteck 800A Peak Portable charger recently and it was able to jump start a Mercedes R129 SL500 that had been stored in the garage over the winter.

Steps to avoid a flat car battery

Ordinarily a medium to long car journey once a week is probably the best way to avoid a dead battery. Short journeys are not able to generate enough charge. If this is not possible an external battery charger is a great alternative.

You can also check car forums such as Pistonheads for general advice or specific car forums for your make and model. Or online motoring magazines such as AutoExpress. They are full of great tips and advice.

Stay safe and be prepared.

WheelsMatter is a motorists review website for motorists by motorists. Feel free to leave your own motorists review.

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