RAC breakdown: fixing a flat car batteryMotorists should make sure cars that have been little-used over the festive break don’t have a flat battery ahead of Monday 4 January’s big return to work, warns the RAC.

Traditionally, the first Monday after Christmas is the biggest breakdown day of the year for the organisation: the fact this year’s break has encouraged many to remain on holiday between Christmas and New Year could accentuate the 2016 breakdown risk.

Add in Britain’s recent damp weather and it’s a recipe for ‘battery blues’.


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“But it really doesn’t have to be that way, advised RAC patrol of the year Ben Wilson.

“All people need to do is make sure they take their cars for a good run this weekend. That way they will revive the battery or have time to sort the problem out.

And who’s most at risk from a flat battery? “Experience tells us that it is often families with two or more vehicles that tend to suffer most from the ‘Manic Monday’ flat battery problem.”

The simplest way to avoid a breakdown, says Wilson, is to take your car for a good run this weekend. “Don’t just start the vehicles and then switch it off because that may do more harm than good.”

The best advice of all? “Top it up with fuel before you have to go back to work so you can avoid the queues at the filling stations – if it’s a few miles away, this will also give your battery a bit of a boost too.”

Top 5 tips for taking care of your car battery

  1. Switch everything off at the end of your journey: lights, heater, fan, radio, heated rear windscreen
  2. Pull everything out of the 12v power sockets (such as sat navs, in-car DVDs, smartphone chargers)
  3. Take a look at the battery connections: make sure they’re tight and free from corrosion
  4. Batteries wear out: if it’s more than four years old, get it tested and budget for a new one
  5. Give the battery and easy time on cold mornings: park your car in a garage if possible