AA crews warn thousands of cars will break down today in one of the ‘busiest of the year’

AA crews warn thousands of cars will break down today in one of the ‘busiest of the year’


Guide to charging your car battery

Dubbed ‘flat battery day’, the AA was called out to 12,500 cars on the first working day after Christmas last year with almost a third suffering battery problems. The AA claims this year could be “quieter” than usual due to travel restrictions and people working from home but many motorists are still likely to be affected.

Ben Sheridan, AA Patrol of the year said modern cars should be able to last at least two weeks without needing to be stated.

However, Mr Sheridan said those with older vehicles or those with concerns over the quality of their battery should start it once a week to be safe.

He said: “The first working day back in January is typically one of the busiest of the year for break downs, with flat batteries the main culprit.

“Over the Christmas break many cars get left unused – this causes the output of the battery to drop which, especially for old batteries, can mean they don’t have the power to turn the engine over.

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“This year, with travel restrictions meaning many cars have been parked up for even longer, drivers could get off to a false start when the time comes to get back on the road.

“The age of the battery, how the car has been used and the temperature all affect its performance.

“You can help keep it in good working order by using a mains-powered battery maintainer or, if this isn’t possible, starting the engine once a week and allowing it to run for at least 15 minutes to give the battery time to charge.”

Motoring experts at Halfords has warned the shutdown has led to millions of motorists using their cars far less than normal.

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Halfords claims drivers can suffer dead car batteries for a host of reasons including cold weather, frequent short journeys and excessive strain or battery age.

However, research from Halfords found 20 percent of motorists have never had their battery checked.

The survey also highlighted a severe lack of knowledge with 65 percent unaware of how to charge their battery despite this reducing the likelihood of a break down.

This rises to 83 percent among younger drivers between 25 and 34 leaving many to suffer break downs instead of trying to avoid suffering issues.

AA President Edmund King said there was “no doubt” cars which had been left unattended over Christmas would suffer some battery problems.

He said: “We have been surprised at recent levels of traffic particularly with tier restrictions in place and the bad weather.

“People should only be making essential journeys for food shopping, employment where they can’t work from home and for key worker jobs and caring purposes.

“No doubt though some cars that have been left idle over the colder Christmas period will experience battery problems.”

The AA also urge drivers to check their MOT and tax are in date before getting back on the road after some time off.

Before starting the car, drivers are warned they should check nothing is hiding under the bonnet which could have caused damage to a vehicle’s pipework or hoses.

Vehicle’s tyre conditions should also be checked before heading out in your car with a particular focus on tyre pressures and tread depth.

The AA said motorists should also look out for any major tyre defects which may have developed over Christmas before setting off. 

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