‘I’m a mechanic and diesel cars won’t start this winter with drivers at 35 percent risk’

A leading mechanic has warned petrol and diesel owners are at serious risk as temperatures drop this winter. 

Scotty Kilmer has stressed the cooler conditions could have a major impact on battery life with a rise in breakdowns expected. 

The RAC deals with around 400,000 battery-related breakdowns every winter making it a major issue into the new year. 

Data from the AA has also highlighted that over one in six of all breakdown callouts between January and September 2023 involved battery problems.

Mr Kilmer has warned petrol and diesel owners could lose a whopping 35 percent of their battery power alone if temperatures drop below freezing. 

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Mr Kilmer said: “Today I’m going to tell you why your car won’t start when it’s cold outside. 

“The colder it is outside the harder it is for your battery to start your car. Number one a cold engine is harder to crank over. It’s cold, the oil is heavier and it’s harder to spin. 

“When it’s 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero degrees Celsius) outside you lose 35 percent of the cranking power in your battery. 

“At zero degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) the battery loses 60 percent of its starting power. 

“And of course dirty corroded connections, they make it even worse for power having to pass through that.”

According to AXA Insurance, motorists are 51 percent more likely to have battery problems in the winter compared to the warmer summer months.

KwikFit says batteries die in winter due to the way the vital tool is put together in the first place. 

Most hold their charge through a liquid electrolyte solution which can be affected as the weather cools.

A drop in temperature can reduce the solution’s ability to transfer full power. To prevent issues, the experts urge drivers to store their vehicles in a warmer environment such as a garage.

Motorists who regularly travel short journeys should make sure to charge the tool at least once a week during cold snaps to present any issues. 

Mr Kilmer added: “So if you want your car to start in cold weather make sure the battery terminals are clean and have your battery tested if it’s more than three years old to make sure it’s still good.”

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