You’ll likely be crestfallen enough at returning to work after ten days’ holiday - whether that’s been spent curled up on the couch, enjoying chocolate and a nostalgic Christmas film, or getting some outdoor exercise on a perfectly crisp winter’s day – but you can still make sure your worries end there by keeping your car’s battery in working order so that your first day back on 4th January gets off to a motoring start.
If you want to give your car a run in late December, please follow local travel restrictions for your area.
Simply moving your car backwards and forwards every few days will help keep your car tyres, brakes and air-conditioning system in better condition. Here’s how it helps those parts of the car:
The brakes will need to be used to avoid corrosion, or rust, between brake discs and brake pads. If you don’t have anywhere to go, or if you’re worried about losing the only parking space in a mile radius, it’s enough to just move the car back and forward a few times, and the braking will help grind away at any rusting, reducing the squeaking that occurs when you go to use the car again on a daily basis after a period of non-use.
You might think it takes all the strain off your tyres if you leave your car in the driveway for a few days, but moving it forwards and backwards a few times – if only even for a few metres in each direction – will help take the weight off a single point of the tyre, and avoid unnecessary tyre breakdown, including the formation of flat-spots, from its non-use. Remember to keep your tyres inflated to the correct pressure. There should be a visual guide on a white sticker in your glovebox, or on the front passenger door panel, visible with the door open. This will help keep your tyres in good condition should the car be stationary for a few days.
Switch it on when you check your car in the Christmas holidays – it will prevent the coolant which regulates the system’s temperature and lubricates the seals, from drying out and leaking. And when you’re back driving in the new year, you should keep your air-con on whenever you’re driving, flowing cool or warm air through the car depending on the weather and temperature.
For fossil-fuelled cars, make sure you don’t get caught cold by a dead battery. A product like the Noco 5A battery charger will bring your car back from the brink, allowing charging on the move from as little as one volt of power, or with manually operated Force mode, charge from zero volts of power. It plugs into the mains and gets to work right away. An integrated thermal sensor even detects the ambient temperature in the environment where you’re carrying out your mobile charge, preventing over- or under-charging in hot or cold climates.
Better still, it’s not just a car charger: it’s compatible with a huge range of vehicles from SUVs and motorhomes to motorcycles and work vans.
Charge your electric vehicle
If you drive an electric vehicle (EV) it’s so important to keep it charged over the festivities, and even when it’s full, putting your car into ‘ready’ mode, by pressing the ‘start’ button until you see the ‘ready’ light come on, for a few minutes once a week, will help keep the battery in the right condition.
Experts say that if you’re going to leave your EV unused for a prolonged period then the optimal battery length to leave it with is 45 – 55%, then you can top it up to full when you return to regular driving. Some EVs will even charge from your household’s mains supply.
Help lead the (re)charge
But if the worst should happen on ‘Flat-Battery Monday’, and you need a jump-start from another car’s battery, make sure you’ve got your own jump leads to match a fellow driver’s generosity. Autoparts’ heavy duty 800-amp jump leads have six metres’ length and are bound to help you put the buzz back into any vehicle with flat battery.
For our full range of vehicle charging products, visit Autoparts’ Products section.