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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

What to check on a car after the Christmas break

Date: Tuesday 23 January 2024

Premium quality automotive lighting and auto electrics supplier, Ring, is offering advice to every driver on what to inspect on their car if it’s been sat for a while over Christmas and providing workshops and factors a fantastic upselling opportunity in January.

During the Christmas break, there will be many drivers that have left their car unused for a week or two, which may lead to some issues with the car’s start up, however, there are a few simple checks that every driver can do, that factors and workshops can advise them on.

Recharge the batteries

Battery failure is the number one reason for a call out from breakdown services across Europe.

With so much technology integrated into the design of newer vehicles, even when cars are parked, constant consumption from the likes of heated seats, central locking and navigation systems are increasing the energy demands, placing additional strain on batteries. 

Plus, if drivers have used the car during the Christmas break, it’s likely it’s only for short journeys, so not enough charge will have been placed back into the battery. This means that over time, those frequent small journeys will flatten the battery fast. 

The best way to get a battery running at optimum level is to charge it using a smart battery charger. It is the most effective method of preventing the energy-sapping functions from draining the battery.

Ring Smart Chargers will not only add charge the battery, but due to the float mode, they can be left safely connected on a permanent basis, compared to traditional trickle chargers.

The RSC806 Smart Battery Charger is 6V and 12V compatible, has 3A to 6A charge rate, is start stop compatible, provides a seven stage charging process, includes a large LCD display screen, offers cold weather charging mode, has quick connectors, comes with a one button operation and reverse polarity protection. 

It also has short-circuit protection and automatically adjusts to long-term maintenance mode when the battery is fully charged. With a maximum battery capacity of 110Ah battery charging and 160Ah maintenance mode, making it ideal for motorbikes, cars, 4x4s and vans.  

If drivers have on-street parking or live in a block of flats, a smartcharger may not be practical. Instead, to get moving when the battery is flat, Ring’s Lithium Jumpstarters offer a convenient lightweight solution, removing the need for road-side assistance or to jumpstart from a second car.

As they are rechargeable, once used, they can be reused another time, eliminating the worry of having to recharge after every use. Ring’s Lithium jumpstarters also act as mobile powerbanks for keeping mobile phones and other electrical devices charged, in case a need arises.

Tread carefully with tyre care

Tyres are the only point of contact with the road, and as such, it is vital that they are in good condition for optimum road handling. Inflate the tyres to the maximum recommended pressure found on their sidewall, as they will lose pressure over time, even if they’re not being used. 

Running on tyres with reduced tyre pressure will increase fuel consumption and wear and tear on the tyres, resulting in a significant rise in overall motoring costs. 

If left for a long period with air pressure continually leaks out, this can lead to flat spots and tyres losing their round shape, especially if they are older.

If drivers do not want to continue to travel to find a tyre inflator, workshops and factors should recommend investing in a tyre inflator of their own. Ring’s industry leading and award winning RTC range of tyre inflators allows motorists to quickly and accurately inflate their tyres to the correct pressure, all from the comfort of their home. The range comprises of analogue and digital units to suit people preferences and budgets, yet all are compact designed with powerful motors to inflate tyres quickly and accurately. 

Think ahead – carry a spare bulb kit

Bulbs are a safety critical component and it’s a good idea for every driver to have spare bulbs for their car at all times, providing an additional selling opportunity for factors and workshops. 

A bulb kit will not only provide reassurance if drivers are making a long journey and a bulb blows, but also ensures they are following the law, as if a car is deemed unsafe, they can be prosecuted, which will happen, if drivers don’t have properly working lights.