Check Your Car’s Battery! Motorists Warned Of ‘New Year, Non-Start’

Motorists have been warned of a non-start to the New Year after leaving their cars unused over Christmas. Motoring organisations expect a surge in calls due to flat batteries…

New Year, Non-Start? 

If you’re not already back at work after the Christmas holidays, the chances are you will be on the 6th. In which case, you could be in for a nasty surprise. Motoring organisations, like the RAC, expect a surge of call-outs related to flat batteries. As cars have been out of use, especially older ones, their batteries can quickly become flat; meaning they’ll fail to start as drivers return to their regular routines and commutes. The RAC expects 12,000 calls on the 6th, with around a third of them being related to flat or faulty batteries. Last year, it received 3,600 flat battery calls on the 7th of January. 40% of people with the problem only discovered it whilst trying to get to work.

Avoiding The Problem 

Fortunately, it’s easy to avoid a flat battery over the Christmas holidays and therefore a ruined start to the New Year. The best way is to simply take our cars for a drive over the holidays; covering a healthy amount of miles will keep the battery charged. It’s also worth taking to the wheel a day or two before returning to work; this will allow you to take notice of any problems whilst there’s still time to fix them. Ben Aldous, RAC patrolman of the year, offered his own advice to motorists. He said, “experience tells us that it is often families with two or more vehicles that suffer most from flat batteries on the return to work after Christmas and New Year as they tend only to drive one over the festive period”. In addition, he suggested that motorists remove any devices from their vehicles that might place a strain on the battery. He said,  “sat navs and other devices can drain the battery if left connected – every volt is precious first thing in the morning”.

According to an RAC survey, 6% of people have faced a flat battery in the New Year. A further 13% have actually encountered the problem twice. Given how avoidable the problem is, it’s almost certainly a product of ignorance. In fact, a Halfords survey of 2,000 drivers discovered that one in ten didn’t even know where their car’s battery was located. Some 30% of them had never inspected their car’s battery and over half hadn’t done so in at least five months. Regular, brief inspections can prevent you from getting stranded; try to look every two weeks or at least once a month!

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