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Car Breakdowns << Back to Education

Flat Battery?

Faulty or flat batteries are one of the most common causes of breakdown. Stop-start or short journeys don't give batteries the opportunity to recharge properly.

Below are the top causes of a flat battery and therefore things to avoid.

Reasons for a Flat Battery

A lack of use or vehicle only used for short journeys
Something has been left on (light(s) or a faulty component is draining the battery
A fault with the vehicle's charging system
A fault with the battery itself

Short journeys or insufficient use of a vehicle will shorten a battery's total life. This 'under charging' results in 'sulphation' if the battery voltage is allowed to remain below 12.4 volts. Sulphation is the hardening of the lead plates within the battery and it reduces the battery's ability to accept or hold a charge.

If you do only use your car occasionally and for short journeys it's worth investing in an intelligent charger/battery conditioner that can be left connected for long periods without risk of damage to the battery.

Batteries can fail for other reasons too such as, excessive vibration, over charging, corrosion and temperature (extreme heat and cold).

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