When to change a car battery

Cold weather depletes car batteries – fact! But don’t panic if your car doesn’t switch on one freezing Monday morning when you’re already running late. Just use this guide to figure out when you need a jumpstart or a charger.

Battery failures can be one of the most irritating things to go wrong with your car – but it’s actually one of the easiest ones to avoid. Car battery replacements start from around £50, meaning that in many cars, a breakdown can be avoided for less than a tank of fuel. If you do find yourself stranded, the call-out cost for breakdown recovery could be a lot more. 

What causes a car battery to fail? 

Ask any breakdown technician – cold weather is the main culprit. As the battery gets older, the cold affects the battery’s ability to transfer power. You might also find your battery fails after leaving lights or accessories like sat navs on overnight when the car engine is switched off.  

When should I replace my car battery? 

 If you notice your car is struggling to start, it could be a sign your battery is on the way out, and we would recommend changing it. Batteries tend to last at least 3 years, although many (including some of our Yuasa range) come with 5-year warranties.  

You might also notice some components malfunctioning in your car – for instance, interior lights flickering or new warning lights illuminating on the dashboard.  

Can I charge or jumpstart my battery? 

We offer a range of portable battery chargers which can be used to charge up a dead battery. These are ideal if your battery has gone flat after the car has sat unused for a period of time. But, if you need to use one regularly, it's probably time to invest in a replacement battery. 

Jump-starting your car is possible, but it’s important you connect and disconnect the leads in the right order to avoid damaging your car or battery. Modern cars have complex engine control units which are easily damaged by jump-starting incorrectly, so we would recommend calling in a breakdown company. 

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Photo by Daniel @ bestjumpstarterreview.com on Unsplash