It's not a great situation when you go to start up your car and find that it won't get going. Then you have that sudden realisation that your battery isn't charged enough. Indeed, battery failure is one of the most common causes of car breakdowns.

More power is needed in winter

Unfortunately, the likelihood of this happening is higher in winter. This is because, when your car gets so cold, it requires more power from the battery to get the engine going. Therefore, if for whatever reason your battery has not been properly charged then your car is more likely not to start.

What's more, it is not as easy to charge your battery in winter because the cold weather makes it harder for it to accept charge.

Make sure you turn everything off!

It should also be considered that there are a number of other factors that could put strain on your battery. For example, if you have left your car lights, radio or air conditioning on while the car's engine was off then this will all require energy from your battery. You should always make sure that all of these things are turned off when your car's engine is switched off. Similarly, it is best to make sure that they are off before starting up your car so as to reduce the amount of power that is required of your battery upon start up.

Certainly, during the winter months you are likely to be using your lights, fans, windscreen wipers and rear wipers more often, all of which require power from the battery and will slow down its ability to charge.

Try this if your car fails to start

If your car fails to start first time around, you may still be able to get it up and running. Try to start the ignition in five second bursts and allow around 30 seconds between attempts.

How old is your battery?

You need to think about how old your battery is. Over time, batteries lose their ability to charge and eventually it will get to the point where it will no longer be able to hold charge at all. Therefore, if your battery is around five years old then it may be time to change it so as to avoid battery failure.

Think about how you use your car

Consider the kinds of journeys that you do in your car too. It is while your engine is running that your battery will charge. Therefore, making long journeys is good for your battery as it gives it time to charge properly. However, if you make a lot of short journeys then this will put strain on your battery. This is because it will have less time to charge. However, it will be required more frequently when starting up the car, which is what drains its charge. Therefore, one of the best remedies for this issue is to try to string as many of your short journeys together as you can if at all possible.

Stay on top of your battery maintenance

Another thing that can result in battery failure is corrosion around the terminals, which could stop your battery from charging properly. This is the most likely problem if you know that you have changed your car battery fairly recently. The reason why this happens is that batteries leak sulphuric acid, which then evaporates and leaves deposits on the battery terminals. You can clean this off but it is best to seek the advice of a professional for help in this area. In particular, you should ask them to check the clamps and connections of your battery to make sure it does not have any corrosion.

If you do find yourself caught out with battery problems this winter then contact for roadside assistance, to get your car to the nearest garage.