A battery is the heart of any vehicle. It starts the car, powers the lights and creature comforts, and ensures motorists get to their destination. Car batteries can also communicate. A cranking sound indicates all is not well.

Motorists should never ignore the cranking sound. A faulty car battery is the biggest cause of roadside breakdowns. In fact, 24% of all call-outs to AA are battery related. Roadside breakdowns are one of the reasons the trusted battery specialists advise motorists to get their batteries checked.

Here are the top three reasons why motorists should add “get battery checked” to their annual to-do list.

1. Regular wear, tear and dust

Car batteries generally last up to five years, which doesn’t mean motorists shouldn’t show them TLC, especially if the battery is older than three years. Dirt, debris and corrosion gather on the battery terminals and can lead to connectivity issues, making it difficult for the car to start

2. Weather damage

Both warm and cold temperatures can affect how the battery performs. Cold weather can reduce battery life, while warmer temperatures can cause the electrolytes to evaporate, damaging the battery’s internal plates and affecting battery performance. Get your battery checked twice a year and keep your vehicle going all year long.

3. Malfunctioning alternator and starter

The alternator and starter both have mechanical and electric functions to power the engine fan, headlights and the crankshaft turn to keep the car moving. But, when these components start failing, there’s even more stress on the battery, which can lead to premature failure.

A trip to South Africa’s trusted battery specialists for a free battery test, twice a year, will assure motorists their car can go the distance. This battery test also includes an alternator and starter test. Motorists can trust that the battery specialists will only recommend a new battery if necessary. And the best part is, the specialists will always recycle the old battery.

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