FLAT BATTERY MONDAY

  • 5th January named as Flat Battery Monday by Halfords

  • Motorists advised to carry out basic checks over New Year weekend

  • Free winter checks at all Halfords stores and Autocentres

After lying idle over the festive period many cars will refuse to start, leaving millions of motorists facing the car battery blues on Monday 5th January.

Motoring organisations are expecting a record number of emergency call outs on what is the first day back to work for many and the start of a new school term. The long Christmas layoff, combined with damp, frost and rain may spell misery for many. Halfords is advising motorists to carry out basic checks over the weekend in order to avoid frustration on the day.

Paul Tomlinson, Halfords’ winter checks expert says: “It’s not just commuters who will feel sluggish after the festive period, but their cars too. Using your car's heater, air conditioning or lights, places greater demand on your battery. This combined with leaving your car standing idle in sub-zero temperatures could result in a less than positive start to 2015 - so it’s worth giving your car a quick health check this weekend.”

It is always best to plan ahead and be prepared, so Halfords recommends motorists undertake the following checks as a precaution:

Battery – if your battery takes more attempts than usual to start the car, appears sluggish or the warning light on your dashboard is illuminated, it could be a sign of imminent failure. Use a 12V car battery charger to replenish lost charge and see if this rectifies the problem or call into Halfords for a free battery check. If the battery needs replacing, first check the receipt to see if it is still under guarantee and ,if so, return it to where it was purchased for replacement. If buying a replacement consider the length of guarantee (usually between 3-5 years). There is usually a correlation between guarantee and cost. To help prolong the life of an older battery or prevent a newly purchased one from expiring prematurely, consider purchasing a battery charger with a maintenance function.

Bulbs – when was the last time you checked your car's lights were in working order? Ask a friend or family member to observe whilst you run through them all in sequence from the driver's seat - not forgetting to check brake lights illuminate correctly and fog lights are functioning. A defective head, side or tail light bulb significantly increases the risk of an accident but in the hectic period before Christmas it is easy to miss a faulty bulb. Use the weekend to source the correct bulb and fit it. For 2015 its worth resolving to regularly check your lights. Also consider upgrading your bulbs - for example, did you know you can fit faster illuminating bulbs for braking that increase the time a following car has to react to changes in your speed?

Oil – check engine oil levels and top-up as required. If your car has stood for some time, there may be oil beneath it – a clear sign of a leak.

Fuel – avoid queues at pumps on Monday morning and plan for delays caused by the resumption of the school run and back to work traffic by making sure your fuel is topped up.

For drivers seeking extra piece of mind, Halfords is offering free five-point winter checks - comprising car batteries, head/tail light bulbs, wiper blades, oil levels and a free screenwash top-up throughout the season at over 700 sites across the UK (440 Halfords stores and 303 Halfords Autocentres). There's no need to book, just turn up! To find your nearest store visit www.halfords.com or your nearest Autocentre www.halfordsautocentres.com .

-ENDS-

For further information please contact Halfords@z-pr.com or 020 7896 3404

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive products and aims to enhance customers’ use of their vehicles by ‘Supporting the Drivers of Every Car’ and ‘Equipping Families for Their Leisure Time’.

Through around 300 Halfords Autocentres we are also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators - delivering dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and servicing to motorists at affordable prices.

Halfords stores sell around 9,000 retail products, increasing to around 160,000 online - encompassing significant ranges in car parts, in-car technology, child seats and roof boxes.

Customers are able to shop at 465 stores in the UK and Republic of Ireland or order online and choose to either collect from their most convenient store or a home delivery.

Halfords employs approximately 11,000 colleagues who are trained to offer expert advice and 8,000 of which help to deliver a while you wait fitting service for consumables including bulbs, blades and batteries as well as child seats and in-car entertainment systems.

For more information visit www.halfords.com or www.halfordscompany.com

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Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and ROI and at halfords.com for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices. The Halfords group strategy is based on three pillars: · Supporting Drivers Of Every Car · Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age · Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience: · Service Revolution · The H Factor · Stores Fit to Shop · 21st Century Infrastructure · Click with the Digital Future Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Enhanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. The Retail Auto offering was recently augmented by the introduction of Car Parts Direct, a service delivering rapid customer access to around 130,000 car parts. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of camping equipment including brands such as Vango and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a service for cycles.

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