What to Do if You Have a Flat Car Battery

Discovering that you have a flat car battery is perhaps one of the most frustrating experiences in life, as it never comes at a convenient time. Find out what you can do if your car battery is dead with this quick guide.

You can suffer a dead car battery for a whole host of reasons, including cold weather, frequent short journeys, excessive strain and battery age. This is why flat car batteries are the number one reason for call-outs to breakdown services, and why it's a good idea to get to grips with the top signs that a car battery might be about to die.

But before calling anyone out, read this guide: you may be able to solve the problem yourself.

What can you do if your car battery dies?

Charge it back up

  • A common reason for a dead car battery is that it's been drained by the lights being left on, without the engine running. If your battery hasn't completely discharged, you may be able to charge it using a car battery charger that plugs into the mains. We sell a range of these, so keep one in your garage and you'll always be prepared for when a flat battery strikes!

Jump start your car

  • However, if your battery has totally run out, it's likely that simply charging it won't work. Your next option is to try a jump start. You'll need a jump starter pack or a set of jump leadsand a 'donor' car to do this - but first, see our how to jump start a car guide for some essential safety advice.

Find a second opinion

  • If jump starting or recharging doesn't get your car going, you may have a more serious problem. If you can get your car to the nearest Halfords, our in-store staff can check your battery for free and determine whether the issue is simply a flat car battery, or whether it could be something else, such as a fault with the alternator.

Replace your battery

  • The other option is a mobile car battery replacement courtesy of our Halfords Mobile Expert service. This service brings a technician straight to your door and fittings can be booked directly on the website, with next-day fittings also available.
  • Bear in mind that even if you manage to recharge or jump start your battery, its life may have been significantly shortened after a discharge - you may want to replace it at some point for a new one.

Free car battery checks at Halfords

Halfords can provide FREE car battery checks in-store and recommend either a charger or a replacement if you need one. As we have the UK’s biggest range of batteries, covering around 95% of vehicles on the road, it’s likely we’ll have the right one for your vehicle.

If you're not sure what battery you need, just pop your car's registration into our handy look up tool.

Battery recycling and disposal

Car batteries contain lots of nasty ingredients that mean they can't be put into your normal household bin or recycling bin, but the good news is we'll do it for you! If you have your new battery fitted by Halfords, we'll dispose of your old one for free. For information on how to dispose of your battery safety or recycle it, see our guide to battery disposal and recycling.

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