Car battery charging issues could be linked to shorter journeys

Cold weather will highlight any battery charging problems but putting more strain on its charge. Pic

Cold weather will highlight any battery charging problems but putting more strain on its charge. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Battery gremlins plaguing British motorists are likely caused by short journeys, according to a new survey.

Short journeys could have caused almost a quarter of British drivers to have battery problems over the past two years, according to research.

A survey of more than 2,000 British adults by Kwik Fit found that 23% had been affected with battery problems since November 2014, with 57% cent of those needing to replace the battery.

The company says the problem could be caused by many motorists' short journeys, which don't provide time for the battery to be fully recharged.

This is based on findings from the survey that 41% of those questioned said their daily journeys took less than 15 minutes. A further 20% of those who responded to the survey had an average daily journey time of 16 to 20 minutes.


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Kwik Fit says the biggest single drain on a car's battery is starting the engine from cold, meaning cold weather will exacerbate any issues with a lack of charge.

As a result, the peak time for battery problems is between 7am and 9am, when drivers are setting out for work. More than one in five drivers (21%) have experienced problems between those hours, with 22% of those saying it made them late for work and 9% claiming to have missed an important appointment.

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Kwik Fit found that Londoners were the most vulnerable to battery problems, with 43% of those living in the capital claiming to have struggled with battery problems – more than six times the proportion of Welsh drivers who have had the same issue.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: 'Although battery technology has improved dramatically, the demands placed on them by in-car technology has also increased. If drivers experience any sort of issue with their battery, such as it taking longer than normal to start their engine, then we would advise that they get the health of the battery checked out as soon as possible.

A battery health check to assess the condition of a battery, and whether it's holding its charge effectively, will give drivers advance warning of any problems, rather than finding out on a cold winter's morning when they need to get somewhere urgently.

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