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Flat Car Batteries

Flat Car Batteries

If you have a new modern car the chances are you will not suffer with a flat battery, especially if you lease a car as you will be driving a new vehicle all the time. For those of you which drive an older car or indeed have classic cars then you have more chance of jumping in your car one day and turning the key to silence!

According to Halfords in 2017 many drivers do not check their batteries within the recommended 3 months, furthermore they also reported that one in six drivers between the age of 25-34 did not know where the battery was located in their car. The company also reported that over half of motorist did not know how to jump start a car.

Image of a Flat battery in an engine

What can cause a car battery to go flat?

There are of course with all mechanical problems in cars a number of reasons they are occurring, however there is a high chance it will be one of the following-

  • A fault with the battery itself
  • Problem with the alternator
  • Faulty component
  • Battery drain such as a lights being left on
  • A car being left standing for a while
  • Extreme weather conditions Hot/Cold

As mentioned above this list is just a tip of the iceberg, but are the most common issues.

How to keep your battery healthy If you are only doing short journeys in your car then you may find that it is being undercharged this can lead to sulphation. Sulphation is when the battery voltage remains below 12.4 volts, this leads to the hardening of the lead plates within the battery, this in turn reduces the batteries capability of holding a charge. The solution for this is either make sure you use your car for long journeys so it can recharge itsself, or you can purchase an intelligent charger which can be connected to the battery when it is not being used.

image of jump leads on a flat battery

What to do if you have a flat battery

Once you have finished cursing the day you set eyes on the car, you can, if you have roadside assist give the company a call and they will come out and jump start you very quickly. If you have had this happen before the chances are you will be savvy enough to have a set of jump leads in the boot. Then you just need a willing driver to help. To avoid this happening you could always lease your vehicle, although you are responsible for the maintenance for the car, the chances of you getting a flat battery are pretty low.
Most new cars will alert you if you have left anything on when you turn the engine off.

How to jump start a flat battery

Safety first:
Check that your battery is not damaged in anyway, before you decide to res-erect it!

Make sure the car that will be your source is parked close enough for the leads to reach and that the leads have a little bit of slack in them. If you are on the roadside make sure you are in a safe position and if you have one put out a warning triangle.

  • The jump leads:

The positive cable is red and has the + symbol on it.

The negative cable is black and will have the - symbol on it.

Always check the packaging to make sure that the above is relevant to the jump leads you are using.

  • Connecting the jump leads:

Starting with the source car (good battery) connect the positive to the positive connecting on the battery.
Then carefully connect the other end of the positive cable to the dead battery positive connection.

Repeat the above with the negative cable, many people use the negative battery point on the dead battery (be aware that this could cause a spark and be dangerous) and others will use a bare metal part of the engine such as a a bolt of a bracket, some cars have a negative jump starting pole.

Start the car with the good battery and leave running.

Now its time to cross everything and try the car with the flat battery.
You may need to leave the car with the flat battery running for a while, and you will definitely need to go for a long drive to get the car recharged, or get a new battery.

Good luck