Caring for your new battery

Thanks to the increased electrical demands of modern vehicles, our batteries are working harder than ever. Battery faults are the most common cause of breakdowns, especially during the winter months. So, to avoid untimely breakdowns, caring for your battery from the outset is important.

There are a few practices that can drain or damage your battery:

  • Using your vehicle infrequently or only for short journeys
  • Low or extreme temperatures 
  • Leaving electrical devices or lights switched on when you’re not driving

If you’ve got a new battery, then you’ll be keen to extend its life as much as possible, to save yourself time and money on a replacement. Luckily, some routine maintenance and best practices can keep your battery in good health for longer.

Ways to increase your battery life

Invest in a battery charger

Two types of technology are used by battery chargers: linear charging and smart charging. Linear chargers send a consistent charge to your battery, but they don’t have the technological capabilities to assess your battery’s health or offer any solutions. They also can’t be used on start/stop batteries.

Smart chargers, on the other hand, can repair and protect your battery while it charges and is fine to use on a start/stop battery. Using an advanced, multi-step system, smart chargers re-fill your battery in stages to stop any excess current from reaching your battery. Not only does this prevent damage, but it also makes for more efficient charging. 

At Halfords, we have a comprehensive range of battery chargers available in-store and online that can be used to charge, maintain, and repair your battery.

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Look after your battery

Giving your battery some regular care and attention is the best way to keep it in good condition for longer. A healthy battery means a better-performing vehicle and less chance of a breakdown, so it’s well worth the effort. A cost-effective and convenient way of keeping your battery in good shape is to keep it topped up with a battery charger.

Research shows that regular charging can triple the life of a car battery, and many common issues can be prevented by keeping your battery topped up:

Hot weather: High temperatures can cause the liquid inside your battery to evaporate, leaving the internal plates vulnerable to damage. These damaged cells then cause the battery to lose charge. You can regulate this charge with a smart charger, repairing any affected cells and preventing any further damage.

Cold weather: Likewise, during cold weather, your battery’s capabilities are affected. Low temperatures slow the chemical reactions responsible for generating power, reducing your battery’s ability to hold a charge. At 0° Celsius, your battery can only use around 60% of its power, which will strain your battery and damage the cells over time. Again, regular charging with a smart charger can improve your battery function and repair these damaged cells.

Infrequent use: Long periods of inactivity will also put a strain on your battery. Batteries naturally lose a small amount of charge whether they’re in use or not, but a component called an alternator draws power from the running engine to recharge your battery while you’re driving. So, if you haven’t driven your car for a while, then the alternator won’t have had a chance to charge up your battery automatically. Manually charging your battery on a regular basis – around every four to six weeks – should help to avoid too much drainage.

For more advice on how to keep your car battery in good condition, check out our help page, or head to your local Halfords store to speak to an expert.

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