How To Avoid A Flat Battery During Cold Weather

With sub-zero temperatures forecast to return to the UK in the New Year, the misery of a flat car battery seems likely to hit many drivers returning to work if they have not used their vehicles much over the Christmas holiday.

Even a previously healthy battery will be drained of much of its ability to start a car from cold in very cold weather if it has not been used for more than two weeks. It comes as no surprise that flat batteries continue to be the cause of most RAC call-outs. Even before the really cold temperatures kicked in at the beginning of December, they reported fitting 1,200 new batteries to stranded cars in just one day - equivalent to one every 72 seconds.

The RAC is advising motorists who have not used their cars for a few days to turn the engine over and leave it running for five minutes, staying inside the car, to avoid a flat battery. This is sound advice, but if it does not work, it is worth bearing in mind that a replacement battery needs to be up to the task of maintaining all the sophisticated features of modern cars - not just starting the engine from cold.

Should drivers find themselves having the make a distress battery purchase, leading battery manufacturer Johnson Controls' UK office has some important advice on fitting the right replacement. Not all batteries are the same and the old adage of you get what you pay for is never more appropriate. Garages and retailers offer several options depending on various factors such as the level of electrical complexity and age of your vehicle, and whether you have had any additional electrical equipment such as sound systems and DVD players retro-fitted.

Johnson Controls offers four car battery options, starting with a value for money option in the VARTA Black Dynamic battery which is suitable for the lower demands of older vehicles. For mainstream models with standard factory-fitted electrical equipment, a VARTA Blue Dynamic will be needed to ensure reliable starting and performance, while for high specification cars with numerous electronic accessories, a VARTA Silver Dynamic battery would be a wise investment.

All these products feature the manufacturer's innovative PowerFrame grid technology, which offers far greater resistance to corrosion and considerably longer lifespan through a special grid construction process which uses 20% less energy than other manufacturing methods.

If your car has the Start-Stop function, which cuts out the engine at idle to save fuel and emissions, you will need a VARTA Start-Stop technology battery to ensure that everything functions as the engineers designed it to.

Even if you have not suffered a flat battery this winter, all motorists should be aware of the likely detrimental effect of two successive severe UK winters on their car battery and the potential for failure in the not too distant future.

6 January 2011 Staff

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