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Where is my car battery located?

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WhoCanFixMyCar has created this handy guide to help make it easier for you to locate your car battery

There’s nothing worse on a cold, frosty morning than jumping into your car, turning the key in the ignition and nothing happens. More often than not, the cause is a flat battery. Sadly, over 40 per cent of all breakdowns each year are caused by battery problems.

Thankfully, a flat battery is relatively easy to fix, with a charge or a jump-start from another car hopefully getting you going in a matter of minutes (and off to work). Unfortunately, locating your car battery can sometimes be anything but straightforward.

Everyone assumes that it's located under the bonnet. If only that was the case. These days, less than 60 per cent of batteries can be found here. About 40 per cent are housed in the boot (often to balance the weight of the car with the majority of the weight being at the front) with the remainder actually inside your car. If it's not always immediately obvious where your car battery is located, then always consult your handbook and while doing so look for a box-shaped battery with two large cables connected to the top.

Content

How to jump start your car

How to make your battery last longer

How to dispose of your old car battery


How to jump start your car

If you do find yourself with a flat battery and you've found where it's located, there are some quick and easy steps you can take to get yourself back on the road.

  • Firstly, manoeuvre your car so it’s either nose to nose or parallel to another car before lifting the bonnets on each car (try and avoid using either a hybrid or electric car as this could cause damage to their vehicle).

  • Next, take the red positive jump lead and connect this to the positive terminals on both cars.

  • Then, repeat the same process for the negative cable but connect the end on your car to an earthing point (such as the engine block). Make sure not to let any metal objects touch either of the batteries while doing so as it could cause sparks (and even cause your battery to explode in the most extreme circumstances).

  • Finally, leave the cars connected for a couple of minutes before starting the engine of the car that has come to the rescue. Leave that car turning over for at least one minute before turning the ignition in your car.

  • That should have done the trick. All that’s left to do then is switch off both engines and disconnect the jump leads, making sure to remove the negative lead first, and avoid the leads touching each other in the process

WARNING: Never try to jump start a car if either the leads or the battery for that matter look damaged. Also, stop using the jump leads immediately if they begin to get hot.


How can you make your car battery last longer?

On the whole, modern car batteries are good at looking after themselves. However, there are some things you can do as a driver to prolong their life, and with it maximise the return on your investment.

Avoid too many short journeys

Your car battery will recharge itself every time you go on a journey. But if you only do short journeys, not only will the battery not have sufficient time to fully recharge, but repeated short journeys will result in the voltage steadily falling. If you can, plan in a longer journey of at least 30 minutes, or alternatively invest in a battery charger.

Keep battery usage to a minimum when engine is off

Batteries love nothing more than operating at 100 per cent. So try to avoid using the electrics when the engine is turned off, whether that’s the lights, radio etc.

Keep your battery clean

Make sure that your car battery stays clean, dry and dirt free. The battery terminals will corrode over time so keeping them clear of any residue will help extend the lifetime of your battery.

Don’t leave your car unused for long periods

Not only will your car get lonely, but it will start to lose charge (sometimes known as ‘self-discharge’) and eventually drain the battery to the point where you may need a jump start, or as previously mentioned, invest in a battery charger.


Not a lot of people know this but…the first electric battery was created by the aptly named Italian physicist Alessandro Volta. As a complete aside, he was also responsible for discovering methane.


Average cost of a replacement battery*

If you're still struggling with your car battery and the only realistic option is a replacement, the team at WhoCanFixMyCar have created the table below to highlight the average cost of a new battery by manufacturer.

Average Cost of a Battery Replacement
Audi£202.46
BMW£215.68
Citroen£153.96
Fiat£147.49
Ford£151.05
Hyundai£147.99
Kia£155.59
Mercedes-Benz£204.23
Mini£188.70
Peugeot£137.10
Renault£138.20
Seat£168.59
Skoda£162.73
Vauxhall£152.37
Volkswagen£159.02
Volvo£184.69

*Cost is based on average prices between the period January 1, 2020 and November 29, 2021


How to dispose of your old car battery

Car batteries are classed as hazardous waste and, as such, can’t be disposed of in the normal way. If you have decided to replace your car battery yourself and are wondering what to do with the old one, then your local household recycling centre will take it off your hands for free. Why? Some 99 per cent of a car battery can recycled with about 80 per cent of your new battery made from recycled material – which is some going. To find your nearest centre and do your bit for the environment check out the Recycle Now website.

 

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