It’s a common thing: on the coldest day of the year, you get in the car and the battery won’t start. You might think “just my luck”, but it’s not coincidence. When the temperature plummets, your battery has to work harder. A battery in good condition can handle the temperature changes – one that isn’t, simply can’t.
Of course, it’s not just the cold that puts more strain on your battery. As winter takes hold, we use the heaters, lights and wipers more. Add to this demand from charging smartphones, tablets and sat navs – often all plugged in at once – and you’ve got a battery that will quickly be put under a lot of pressure. However, you can take steps to make sure you don’t get left out in the cold.
Out and about
A battery will naturally discharge if it is left unused – and if you leave it for long enough, it will go flat. It could be that you take your car out every day – but if you don’t, be aware that after a long period of time you might find your battery flat.
If this does happen, you will need to jump start it to get back on the road. You might think that taking it for a drive will replenish it – however, this may compromise the battery’s ability to hold charge in the long run. You need to attach a charger to make sure it is properly replenished.
You don’t have to wait for your battery to go flat before taking action. By charging regularly as part of your routine car maintenance, you’ll make sure your battery is in tip top shape and resilient against the dropping temperatures. You have two battery charger options – a traditional charger or a SmartCharger. The traditional charger simply attaches to your battery and keeps putting in charge until it is disconnected.
A SmartCharger is a cleverer machine altogether. Instead of just charging, it will run diagnostic tests on your battery to see how it is performing. The best – like the Ring RSC612 – will charge and:
– Measure the battery’s voltage, and show you the potential for your battery as a percentage.
– Check the alternator, to measure how well it recharges and to give an indication if there might be some issues.
– Assess the cranking performance, to see the starting ability of the battery.
– Carry out a start power test, to see how much the voltage drops during an engine start.
It will also select the fastest charging programme for your battery, and then carry out a multi-stage charging cycle. Once the battery is full, it will automatically switch into maintenance mode – allowing for long-term connection. And it is compatible with lead acid, gel, calcium, AGM and EFB batteries, as well as engines with STOP/START technology.
A SmartCharger can’t jump start a completely flat battery, but it is the best option for battery maintenance. It’s also a good idea to attach one if you know that you won’t be driving your vehicle on a regular basis – using a SmartCharger will keep the battery healthy.
By using a SmartCharger, not only are you less likely to find your battery flat, but you can extend its life by two to three years – saving you money. Find out more about Ring SmartChargers here.