With the season of winter well upon us, we need to keep in mind the Achilles heel of our vehicles: the 12 volt battery.
A vehicle’s 12 volt battery is tasked with storing and supplying the power to carry out the initial start of your vehicles internal combustion engine, paired with also taking on the higher electrical demands required for the wet, cold, and dark winter season.
These factors, especially in vehicles with slightly older batteries, make a perfect recipe for a vehicle’s ‘no start’ event and generally for most of us this seems to happen at the worst possible time. Below I have put together some tips to help minimise the dreaded ‘no start’ event.
1. Get a free battery health test
First and foremost get a fresh battery health test coming into winter, I know here at our Service Departments we carry out battery health checks during your vehicles annual service however if your last service was say 8 months ago there is still the possibility that the batteries health could have slightly diminished over this time. If you are in any doubt when it comes to your battery pop through one of our workshops and we will be happy to carry out a battery health test free of charge for you.
2. Turn off electronics
Ensure all electrical consuming options and devices in the vehicle are turned off as close as possible to cutting of the engine eg the Ignition, Lights, Wipers, Radio, Chargers etc as once the engine is turned off and the alternator stops charging and all of the vehicles electrical loading is then pulled from the battery.
3. Close up correctly
Finally, although very basic, when the vehicle is parked up check all of the doors are fully closed as to ensure all interior lights and vehicle modules shut down. For vehicles equipped with keyless start, ensure the vehicle is locked and the keys are stored at least 5 meters away from the vehicle to ensure all modules shut down completely. Even a minor drain over an extended period of time will decrease a battery’s charge and ability to start the vehicle.
Note: as a rule of thumb a vehicles battery will only have enough power to start a vehicle between 10-12 volts. For a vehicle with a battery under the 10 volt mark, the chances of a non-start event will climb dramatically to the high 90% range.