Have a Happy and Healthy Car Battery this New Year
Beat the car battery blues and avoid a New Year non-starter!
Don’t become a victim of car battery failure. Whilst the festive period sees many motorists travel to visit loved ones, many more won’t use their vehicle at all during Christmas and New Year.
As reported by roadside recovery specialists, the RAC, the first working day after the festive break is the most likely day your car will break down. This is because habits change during the Christmas holidays, so your car could be left without being driven for longer periods of time, and in colder weather too.
In this blog, we pass on some helpful car battery hints and tips so you don’t fall victim to a New Year non-starter! We also explore the difference between batteries in standard internal combustion engine cars, and those in electric vehicles. Read on to find out more…
What’s the difference between a regular car battery and an electric vehicle battery?
As electric car experts, this is a question we often get asked here at Wilsons Epsom. Both a car with a standard internal combustion engine and an electric vehicle use a lead-acid battery to operate. However, the main difference between the two is in their internal make up. Allow us to explain more…
How does a regular car battery work?
A car battery found in a standard internal combustion engine functions by turning chemical energy into electrical energy. The car’s battery is made up of a number of cells which act as storage points - most petrol and diesel car batteries contain six cells per battery to produce 12 volts of electricity as standard.
As mentioned above, most car batteries are lead-acid based, creating a chemical reaction to produce electrons which in turn generate electricity. The electricity produced then travels from the car’s battery enabling the engine to start.
How does an electric vehicle (EV) battery work?
An EV is powered purely by battery alone. Because of this, EV batteries are required to be much larger in size; imagine a supersized version of the lithium-ion battery which you’d find in a mobile phone - this is then duplicated to create a battery pack. (Essentially, a lithium-ion battery is a battery that can be recharged).
The battery pack is made up of thousands of smaller lithium-ion cells all working together to power the vehicle. They are powered when an EV is in charging mode, using the electricity it absorbs to fuel the individual cells which make up the battery pack and in turn, powering the car when it is switched on.
How long do car batteries last?
Petrol and diesel car batteries
In general, a battery to power a standard internal combustion engine will last anywhere between three to five years. It is recommended that you replace your car’s battery every four years to keep it in peak operating condition.
Factors that contribute to the lifespan of a car battery, includes; extreme temperatures (both in the height of summer and depths of winter), amount of use and type of journeys taken (regular short trips can actually have a detrimental effect on the battery life), plus how the car is driven.
Electric vehicle (EV) batteries
EV owners and prospective electric vehicle owners will be pleased to hear that in comparison, EV batteries tend to last much longer - anywhere from 10 years to 20 years before they need to be replaced.
As a general rule of thumb, most EV manufacturers will have at least a five to eight years warranty - or 100,000 miles - on the life of their batteries. So if something were to go wrong with the battery in your new EV, you will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
Be battery happy this Christmas
So what can be done to help your car’s battery health this Christmas? Discover our top 10 tips to a happier battery…
- Book your car in for a battery health check.
- Replace the car battery every four years.
- Check the car battery’s acid level every six months and make sure all cells are filled equally.
- Check the car battery’s water level and carefully add more if the plates are exposed meaning that levels are low.
- Ensure the car battery is cleaned every few months by removing dirt and debris.
- Following this, apply a coat of battery terminal protector to prevent corrosion.
- Drive your car every few days to help ensure the battery remains fully charged.
- Try and keep your car battery warm during the winter months.
- Invest in a battery trickle charger if your car is not going to be driven for a long time. This does not allow for the normal depletion of charge that batteries commonly have.
- But don’t overcharge your car battery which can cause permanent damage.
Please bear in mind we recommend that your car battery is only ever handled and inspected by a professional. If you do decide to inspect the battery yourself, please be safety conscious at all times and always handle it with extreme care.
Service plans at Wilsons Epsom
Here at Wilsons Epsom, we provide manufacturer approved servicing by a trustworthy team of experienced technicians and mechanics. We only ever work with genuine replacement parts and the latest equipment to keep your vehicle operating at its best for longer.
No matter what your car needs, it's in safe hands with us. The servicing and maintenance work we carry out is approved by the relevant manufacturer at each of our locations. So if it’s your car battery that needs replacing, or a set of tyres changed, you can rely on us for five-star service.
Regular servicing is an essential part of any vehicle’s upkeep. However, we understand it can become expensive, which is why we have developed our budget-friendly service plans.
Spread the cost of servicing by joining the Wilsons Service Plan Club. Take advantage of inflation proof, fixed prices and low cost servicing from as little as just £13.99 per month, or £499 for three years. Visit our Service Plans page to find out more.