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Car battery failures on the rise as cold snap continues

Experts are calling for drivers to carry out winter checks as the demand for new car batteries has nearly tripled in the last two weeks

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With the weather turning brutally cold and icy, it’s important that your car is working efficiently to keep you – and other road users – safe when you’re out on the roads this winter.

Automotive repair and servicing company Kwik Fit says it has seen a 275% rise in demand for new car batteries in the last two weeks – almost three times more than the same period last year. The company also says its fitters have seen a rise in demand for new tyres – up 25% compared with 2021.

Kwik Fit is urging motorists to ensure their cars can tackle the cold spell with a winter inspection, or what the company is calling an ‘Arctic BLAST’ check. It has highlighted the key components on a car that can be vulnerable to cold weather but are vital to ensure it can be relied on in winter.

The checks spell out the word BLAST and are easy to remember when facing icy arctic weather. You can do most of these checks at home, or get them profefssionally checked if you’re not confident in doing them yourself.

B – Battery

Batteries have to work harder to start a car in cold temperatures with problems sometimes only becoming apparent when it’s too late. If your battery has been struggling to start your car in warmer weather, a cold snap may place too big a demand on it.

L – Lights

The importance of working lights is obvious during the shorter hours of daylight, not only to see but to be seen.

A – Anti-freeze/coolant

Anti-freeze protects your car’s engine at low temperatures, but only at the correct level and concentration, so the condition of the liquid in the reservoir and system should be checked.

S – Screen

Visibility can be poor in winter weather, so drivers should make sure their windscreen condition does not comprise it further. Check screen wash level and wiper blade condition, as well as the glass for any chips or cracks. 

T – Tyres

As the only point of contact with the road, your tyres are even more important when surfaces are slippery. That means it’s crucial to make sure your tyres are good condition. Check tread depth, pressures and also sidewall condition. You should also ensure that your spare tyre or emergency sealant kit is ready to use, if it’s needed.

“The first cold spell of a year always reveals problems with cars which are a surprise to their owners,” says Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit. 

“The most common of these is battery failure which can happen with little or no warning. An engine which was starting during warmer autumn months may simply be too much for an old or worn battery when the temperature drops.

“In the case of tyres, drivers may not have noticed excessive or uneven wear until they need maximum grip in slippery conditions – and at that point it may be too late. As is always the case in motoring checks and maintenance, prevention is much better than cure, so we urge drivers to carry out winter BLAST checks in advance of any journeys they need to make.”

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The Car Expert has a commercial partnership with Kwik Fit. If you click on the links to their site, we may receive a small commission. This does not affect the price you pay for any of Kwik Fit’s services.

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Tom Johnston
Tom Johnstonhttp://johnstonmedia.com/
Tom Johnston was the first-ever reporter on national motoring magazine Auto Express. He went on to become that magazine’s News Editor and Assistant Editor, and has also been Motoring Correspondent for the Daily Star and contributor to the Daily and Sunday Express. Today, as a freelance writer, content creator and copy editor, Tom works with exciting and interesting websites and magazines on varied projects.