So, you think your car is fit for Christmas? What about when winter really kicks in, during January and February?Despite the potential for fewer cold-related breakdowns this year due to ongoing Coronavirus restrictions, car failures could mean an extended wait for assistance to arrive so, clearly, it’s better to avoid breaking down in the first place.
It’s an unfortunate fact that more car breakdowns occur as the colder weather appears, but what are the primary causes and how can you avoid spoiling your family Christmas?
We’re not always obsessed with the weather but colder – possibly even icy – conditions and low sun, not to mention dark mornings and early sunsets, make driving long distances in December and into January far trickier than at other times of the year.
Here we present the four most common causes of cold-weather breakdowns.
More than 20 per cent of all breakdowns are due to battery failure; common enough for The Telegraph’s Garage provider, MotorEasy, to be introducing an insurance option to cover the problem.
So, if you want to avoid jump leads or the stress of non-starting, make sure you don’t leave your lights on in these more dismal weather conditions and get your battery checked now.
Starter motors come under added strain when attempting to spin a cold engine, to such an extent that they are 18 per cent less likely to get your car started. Add to this an alternator cut-out rate that’s 27 per cent higher than usual and you can quickly see that regular car maintenance and appropriate breakdown cover is essential if you want to stay out of the cold.
Identifying the cause of your problem is never easy, but if jump-starting gets the engine going and running, but it won’t start again once switched off, it’s probably a fault with the battery. The alternator is doing its job of keeping the battery charged once it has been jump-started, but the battery can’t hold a charge when the alternator shuts off.
Yes, it’s that time of year that sees the freezing water expanding and turning small holes into large ones, ruining many an expensive tyre – or even the wheel – or your car’s suspension.
Avoid potholes if you can, but if you’re really unfortunate and need suspension repairs then help is at hand . The average cost of a suspension repair is more than £350.
MotorEasy is also preferred partner for Telegraph Garage - go to https://telegraph.motoreasy.com/ for more details of this service that is designed to make car ownership easy, along with tips and advice.