How to avoid car battery failures

A car battery failure can be very inconvenient and costly, so its best to try and avoid these wherever possible. These top tips will help you know when and how to change your battery so that its more reliable.

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Car breakdowns from battery problems are the biggest cause of call-outs to recovery networks, with The AA saying that they account for almost 17% of the breakdowns they attend. Car batteries dont last forever, with a typical one lasting for around five years, and about 20% of all cars will have a new battery fitted each year.

Time for a new battery

Its important to buy a new battery when yours starts causing you issues, as leaving it too long could end up costing you more. One of the first signs that you need a new battery is when it becomes harder to start your car.

In order to get the best value from your battery, its helpful to understand a bit about what youre buying, as this will ensure that you get a longer lifespan and reduces the potential for problems.

The performance of a battery will degrade with use and time, so dont buy one over six months old or you wont get the most benefit from it. It can be hard, though, to see exactly when a battery was produced. There might be a date on it or a letter and a single digit to indicate the month and year.

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The right battery

There is a range of batteries available, ranging in price and performance, including budget models and the Odyssey PC680 battery, available from suppliers such as, but you need to choose the right one for your particular car.

A battery is rated based on its Cold Cranking Amps and Amp Hours. Cold Cranking Amps refers to the amount of power available to start the engine in cold weather. For instance, a diesel engine requires a higher cranking power than a small petrol engine would. The Amp Hours indicates the length of time that it will last when not re-charged.

To avoid spending more than you need to the best advice is to replace an old battery with a new one that offers the same performance levels. The cost of similar specification batteries can vary, so its beneficial to shop around to get the best value.

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