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Your battery forms an integral part of your car, providing the charge necessary to power most to all components in the vehicle. With this in mind, a battery can go flat relatively quickly if the car is not driven enough, leading to breakdowns. A flat battery is one of the leading causes of studies on our roads, so Marsh Finance has provided you with the most likely causes of a flat battery and tips on what to do if your battery dies.

The Most Common Reasons For A Flat Battery

  • Naturally, the charge dwindles over time – as more time passes, the battery will weaken, and its charging capacity will reduce. Car batteries usually have a lifespan of around 5-7 years.
  • When you get out of the car, a common mistake is leaving your headlights on, which will drain the battery to the point where it dies.
  • Repeated short journeys can lead to a flat battery.
  • A part of the engine fails- if your alternator stops working, the charging capacity of your car becomes non-existent, and the battery will eventually die.

Preventative Measures

  • Buy a portable trickle charger so you can start the recharging process immediately if there is a battery-related incident whilst driving. Having a charger with you also allows you to top up the car if it seems to be struggling. This can be done when the car is parked up and stationery, and is especially effective if you do not drive your car very often.
  • Regular inspections of the battery- every so often, check for any signs of rust or wear that could affect the battery’s performance. Also, be aware of how long you have had the battery and replace it if the time of ownership exceeds seven years.
  • Turn your car off when you’re parked up. This may sound obvious, but leaving your engine on is a common cause of battery shortage. Next time you’re exiting your vehicle, make sure everything is turned off.
  • Secure your battery. The actual position of the battery in your car can have a difference on its lifespan. Make sure it is strapped in position and can’t move around and hit into objects nearby, weakening it.
  • Don’t ignore your car. We all do it, a warning light comes on and you just want it to disappear. Many drivers don’t treat the issues a warning light raises, and it becomes a much larger issue than first possible. Pay attention to what your car is telling you, and make changes if needed. A fault anywhere in your car can have adverse effects on the car battery’s health.
  • Keep it clean. Believe it or not, your battery studs can be cleaned. These can be seen by opening the car bonnet, and if dirty, rust will appear on the external fittings. Of course, only clean the joints holding the battery to the car, as cleaning the battery itself is dangerous and could cause you harm.


Batteries are the lifeblood of all cars, and therefore deserve due attention and care. The tips above should be enough to keep your car ticking over, but if you find your battery unsalvageable, take it to your nearest garage for replacement. Although this is an added cost, it is more than worth it for the safety and you and your car.