If there are two things that your vehicle’s battery hates, it is cold weather and infrequent use. And, sadly, a lockdown in January means that both of those things are inevitable to everybody except key workers.
The best way to prevent a flat battery is to run your vehicle for a good twenty minutes every few days. If this isn’t possible, and you end up with a flat battery, don’t despair! You have three choices: call your recovery service, if you are covered (some recovery services won’t assist if you are close to home); contact your local garage; or jump start your vehicle yourself. If you opt for the latter choice, follow these easy steps. All you need is a second vehicle and a set of jump leads.
- Switch everything off (radio, windscreen wipers, heating, sat nav etc).
- Park the second vehicle (vehicle two) as close to your vehicle (vehicle one) as you can, so that the jump leads can easily reach from vehicle one to vehicle two. Switch both engines off and remove the keys from the ignition to be sure.
- Open the bonnets of both vehicles and attach the RED lead to the POSITIVE terminal of vehicle one and attach the other end of the RED lead to the POSITIVE terminal of vehicle two’s good battery.
- Attach one end of the BLACK lead to the NEGATIVE terminal of vehicle one and the other end to the NEGATIVE terminal of vehicle two.
- Return to vehicle two and, with the gear in neutral, start the engine.
- Attempt to start vehicle one. If the vehicle starts straight away, leave both engines running for 5-10 minutes. If it doesn’t start straight away, wait a minute and start again; if vehicle one still doesn’t start after a few attempts, call your vehicle recovery service or local garage.
- Once vehicle one has run for a few minutes (or you have aborted your attempt and called the garage), you can disconnect the jump leads.
- Disconnect the BLACK lead from vehicle one first, then vehicle two.
- Disconnect the RED lead from vehicle two then vehicle one.
- Immediately take vehicle one for a good drive – around half an hour – without the radio or any other unnecessary electrical applications on. If you need to keep your demisters on, drive for an extra twenty minutes or so to ensure that the battery gets a chance to recharge.
At Trust A Garage we are committed to helping customers to stay safe all year round by providing you with advice and access to local, rated and trusted garages near you. For more advice, or to find your nearest reliable garage, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.