Drivers urged to use a trickle charger this winter to avoid breakdowns under lockdown

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Drivers should purchase a trickle charger which can be plugged into your mains supply to keep your battery topped up. During the last lockdown, the number of cars needing a new battery doubled compared to the previous year as vehicles were not being used as much.

However, the colder temperatures mean this factor will be an “even greater problem” using the new lockdown.

KwikFit, therefore, urges drivers to take immediate action to avoid being caught out and suffer breakdowns.

It warned batteries older than five years of age may be at risk of failure as it’s put under more strain.

KwikFit claimed those who use their car to make short and infrequent journeys also run the risk of suffering further issues.

This is because a short trip does not give your battery enough time to property charge up which will ensure it loses part of its electrical current.

Trickle chargers ensure their battery is kept maintained while it is parked on a driveway or garage and will be a must-use piece of technology in 2020.

Roger Griggs, communications director at KwikFit said taking measures to protect their batteries would “help avoid problems when they next needed to use their vehicle.

He said: “The last lockdown saw a big impact on motorists, and from the enquiries we have received from customers, we know that there has been some confusion this time around.

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“KwikFit centres are open as normal and we have strict procedures in place, both in our centres and with our mobile fleet in order to keep customers and staff safe.

“Under this lockdown, MOTs are still required so customers should book and attend their appointments as they would normally do.

“For those who are not using their cars, we encourage them to take measures to protect their battery health – this will help avoid problems when they next need their car.”

The RAC said that battery maintenance was more important than ever before, urging drivers to take a range of simple measures.

It warned colder temperatures affect the chemical process that produces and stores electricity,

This slows the battery down and reduces its ability to hold the charge as effectively.

They warn that drivers who do not use their cars regularly should charge a battery at least once a week.

This is particularly important if a vehicle battery is older than three years old which is when problems can develop.

Batteries can also be better maintained if drovers switch off all in-car technology before turning off their engine.

Making sure that everything from the radio to car lights, heaters to wipers before switching off a car to prevent unnecessary battery drain.

Drivers can also look for corrosion on the battery cables and clean this using a wire brush when the engine is turned off.

They urge drivers to get their battery properly tested if it is suffering any issues so road users can be sure their vehicle is safe to drive.

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