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State reminds Kiwis: Take care of your car battery

January 25, 2019

New Zealanders need to get into the habit of regularly checking their car batteries, according to State.

That’s the story the data from State Roadside Assistance tells, who responded to almost 1300 callouts across Aotearoa over the two-week Christmas and New Year period.

Forty-five per cent of all callouts over the break related to the vehicle battery. The most common issues were:

  • batteries being too old to retain charge (67 callouts),
  • batteries needing replacement (49),
  • and batteries needing a jump start due to lights and electrics being left on too long, or other electrical issues (454).

“Batteries are definitely the reason most people call up for assistance,” State’s Sean Craigen says. “When so many people are travelling around the country for day trips to the beach or campsites, the state of the car may be last on the priority list.

“Batteries can have issues for a number of different reasons. It might be your battery is old or drained due to GPS or applications using the charge. There’s also the chance that the good old lights were left on or doors left open,” he says.

“Lastly it could be that the vehicle has been sitting for a period of time and the battery no longer has enough power in it to start the engine,” he says.

“The good thing is that generally most batteries carry warranties of up to three years so we encourage vehicle owners to take advantage of this and get a check-up or a new one fitted before hitting the road.”

Tyres were also a problem for many drivers with:

  • 57 callouts for help with tyre punctures, blow outs or damage,
  • 87 drivers needing assistance to replace a tyre or change their tyre for the spare,
  • And there were six unlucky drivers who had two flat tyres at once.

Broken cambelts, overheated or flooded engines, faulty ignition switches, locked steering wheels and 100 pairs of keys being accidentally locked inside vehicles were some of the remaining reasons State’s roadside rescue teams were kept busy over the break.

Sean also recommended vehicle owners check they have a compliant spare tyre in the boot which is inflated to the recommended level and make sure all lights and electrics are off when the car is not in use (to avoid draining the battery).