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AA warns rising fuel costs spells trouble for batteries

29 October 2018

The AA is today sounding a warning to Kiwi motorists who are resorting to using their cars less because of rising fuel costs.

Minimal vehicle usage can lead to a flat battery, which as well as proving an inconvenience to any motorist, will also shorten the life of the battery.

Petrol prices reached near record highs of $2.49/litre earlier this month, and that’s seen some motorists limiting how often and how far they drive to save on petrol. AA Battery Service Manager Simon Calaz said that can play havoc with car batteries.

“We are seeing far more people than normal with this problem when we go out on a callout. Because they’re not running their car often enough for long enough to keep their battery charged, when they do get in and try to start the engine the battery is often flat and they’re unable to start the vehicle. In some cases, the battery cannot be recharged and requires replacement.

“It’s the perfect storm where increased technology in cars means that they’re draining more power from batteries, and they need to be driven regularly for more than minimal distances,” Simon said.

To ensure your battery is in a good state of health the vehicle must be driven for a reasonable distance on a regular basis. The difficulty for motorists is that each car has different electrical components so there’s no one size fits all minimum driving time rule.

Motorists who are unable to regularly drive their vehicle are advised to consider picking up a charger to keep their car battery topped up and save the hassle and expense of constantly buying new batteries.

“Battery chargers are the car equivalent of a phone charger. Our Smart Charger fits into a regular electrical outlet at home and then converts the charge to the right one for your car. They’re easy to use and I recommend that people keep one on hand so they don’t keep having issues and of course if you’re concerned your battery may be failing give AA Battery Service a call anytime,” Simon said.


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