Getting a flat car battery is something nearly every driver encounters at some point, turning a routine day into an unexpected and unwelcome challenge.
The sudden realisation that your car won't start, accompanied by that telltale silence or weak choking sound, can be daunting.
However, navigating such situations becomes significantly easier with helpful tips and tricks 👇
The battery is an essential component of every motor vehicle and is pivotal in powering the electrical systems and starting the engine.
Encased in a plastic container, it features two connection points, or terminals, that link the battery to your car's electrical system.
The most common battery is the 12-volt lead-acid battery. It comprises six cells, each producing about 2 volts. These cells are filled with a mixture of sulphuric acid and water, which reacts with lead plates inside the battery. Lead-acid batteries are durable, dependable and more affordable than other battery types, delivering a specific number of engine starts before needing replacing - typically 20,000.
Batteries are required for:
Avoiding a flat car battery ensures your vehicle remains reliable and reduces potential inconveniences. You can minimise the risk by:
When you attempt to start your car and hear clicking or no sound, it often indicates a depleted battery. Dimming headlights, interior lights, or the dashboard warning light illuminating can also suggest a weakening battery.
Additionally, if electronic components like the radio, air conditioning, or power windows start malfunctioning or responding slower than usual, it might be due to a drained battery.
Charging a car battery using a charger is a straightforward process.
Jump starting your car kick starts the engine, allowing the alternator to charge the flat battery. If your battery is completely flat, you’re stuck away from home, or you haven’t got a charger, a jump-start is a good solution.
Here’s a step-by-step guide:
Removing and replacing a car battery isn’t as daunting as it sounds.
Here’s how to do it:
Car batteries contain harmful chemicals and heavy metals that can contaminate the environment. Therefore, they should always be disposed of responsibly. Most places that sell car batteries or scrap metal collectors offer a recycling or safe disposal service.
Whether a flat battery is covered by car breakdown cover or insurance largely depends on your specific policy details and the provider.
Most standard car insurance policies don't cover flat batteries unless the damage is due to an insured event - an accident or incident, such as vandalism, that affects the battery. So, turning to your regular car insurance policy might not be fruitful if your car fails to start or function due to a flat battery.
However, breakdown cover, either as an optional extra on your insurance policy or as separate cover, is specifically designed for when your vehicle encounters mechanical problems or failures, including issues like a flat battery. If you have breakdown cover and face a dead battery, the service usually includes assistance to jump-start your vehicle. If a jump-start doesn’t solve the problem, the cover might also help transport your car to a nearby garage.
Some breakdown cover providers offer specific battery cover, which may cover the cost for replacing a battery if it cannot be recharged or repaired.
The specifics of what's included in your insurance or breakdown cover depends on your provider and the level of cover you have chosen. Make sure you read the small print when considering which policy to purchase.