A chilly winter morning is when you’re most likely to be left stranded with a flat car battery. In fact, battery problems are the number one reason for calls to RAC Roadside Assistance and during winter these callouts increase.

At colder temperatures, a battery’s ability to provide enough power to start and run a vehicle is reduced. However, there are some things you can do to help extend the life of your battery.

A mechanic jump-starting a car with a flat battery

How to extend the life of your battery

If you can, park your car in a garage or under cover to keep it out of the cold.

Avoid parking on the lawn as condensation can collect on the engine and ignition parts which can cause current leakage. 

A car parked in front of a garage

Clean the top of the battery and the terminals with a cloth every so often to prevent dirt build-up, as a bad connection can sap the battery’s power. Keep an eye out for sulfation around the terminals. 

Make sure that your mechanic cleans the battery terminals during your car’s servicing to keep the connection in good condition. 

We recommend regular recharging of your battery with a charger that’s suitable for your battery chemistry, which will help prevent the inconvenience of a breakdown due to a flat battery.

A close up of a corroded car battery

Warning signs

Your battery’s age also plays a part in whether you’re more likely to have trouble on a chilly morning. 

If your battery is more than three years old, a typical sign that it’s on the way out is your car cranking slowly when you attempt to start it. 

It might be time to consider replacing the battery if your car becomes sluggish to start, particularly on cold mornings, rather than risk being stranded. 

Feeling flat?

If you’re unlucky enough to experience a flat battery, RAC Batteries can come to you 24/7 and within the hour if you’re located in the Perth metro area.

Find out more

Last updated May 2020