With temperatures forecast to drop “below average” from this weekend – combined with the extreme and long-lasting heat waves this summer, significantly more vehicle batteries could fail in the upcoming winter than in previous years, experts are warning. Even in normal years, defective 12-volt batteries are responsible for almost half of all broken-down vehicles, across both vehicles with combustion engines and modern electric cars.
“The car battery ages in the heat in summer and dies in winter,” advised Angie Mavar, battery expert at Clarios. “Drivers should therefore routinely schedule the annual workshop check of their vehicle battery before the cold season begins.”
Heat leads to self-discharge
Despite the last few years having mild winters, the low-voltage battery has further extended its lead over other causes of breakdowns. The main reason for this was downtime due to lockdowns and home office working, where batteries lost their voltage and were not recharged. The hot days of the past summer are now added on top and the high temperatures lead to self-discharge, which ages the battery faster. This has already taken its toll on batteries this year. If battery performance then drops because of the cold and engine starts demand more from the battery, that’s too much for old or stressed batteries. Even one night of frost can be enough and the battery can no longer start the engine. And even the warmer winters of the past few years have had an average of more than 50 frosty days.
Safely through the winter
A battery check at a specialist workshop will clarify how much the vehicle battery has suffered this summer and whether it can survive the upcoming winter. Taking your vehicle to a professional workshop will mean they have the necessary expertise to change the battery quickly and safely. They also ensure that the battery is returned to the recycling system, thus minimizing the impact on the environment.