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More winter woes – time to get that battery checked.

There are few things I dislike more about winter than having to leave the house on a freezing morning to find my car windscreen thick with ice. I can never find an ice scraper and am never organised enough to wear gloces, so invariably have to scrape the ice with a credit card, showering my already cold hands with more ice. Assuming the door locks haven’t frozen solid, I’ll always start the engine first to get the water circularting around the heater. Despite the relatively young age of my car, I always wonder for a split second if, when I turn the key, it’s actually going to burst into life, or will there just be a muted ‘click’ from the starter motor.The battery on your car has a lot to cope with, particulalry in winter. As well as having to provice the huge amount of power to crank a cold engine, when the oil is thick and viscous, it has to cope with the extra loads of running the heater fan, wipers, headlights and any other gadgets we may have plugged in. If a car battery is going to suddenly  fail, it’s unlikely to do it on a warm summer afternoon. A freezing winter’s morning when you’re already late to drop the kids at school is the usual time when there’s just not enough power left to start your poor engine.

Often, the signs of impending battery failure are already present long before it actually fails. If you’ve every left your headlights on for 15 minutes without the engine running and the engine only just managed to start afterwards, that shows the battery is already becoming weak. A typical car battery has a life of around 5 years if looked after properly, but a simple fault with the charging system such as a loose alternator belt or corroded connection can stop your battery receiving the charge it needs, leaving it weak. I’ve known cars at 10 years old still running their original battery, yet had to have a new battery under warranty on a 6 month old Renault van!

If you don’t fancy the prospect of a dead car on a freezing morning, it’s easy to help prevent it. Many garages (including ourselves, of course) have a very handy little device that can test your car battery capacity. In under a minute, the device will show how good your battery is, and whether it needs replacing or not.

If you’re in any doubt about the health of your car’s battery, why not pop along to us for a free battery test. Our state of the art tester will produce a printed label which we can stick on your battery showing the date it was tested and how much life is left in it.

You’d be surprised just how many batteries we find that are barely holding-up and are just one frosty morning away for an AA callout or a the need for a friendly neighbour with jump leads.

We carry an extensive range of batteries in stock from mtop manufacturers such as Bosch, Exide, Quantum and our latest range, Fohrenbuhl. With prices starting at under £55 inc. VAT and free fitting (Halfords charge £6.99!) for the popular ‘063’ size, we can get you back on the road in minutes and prevent an annoying and unnecesssary breakdown!