Q. Will the electrics in my Ford Focus be harmed if I connect the battery to a charger when we go away this winter?
AB, Stalybridge, Greater Manchester
A. With the right sort of device the car will be fine. You need a “smart” charger that automatically stops charging when the car battery is full, then tops it up when the voltage drops. Expect to pay about £30-£40 for one — find one at Halfords.com. The more advanced options [such as this one] cater for multiple battery types and Stop-Start vehicles.
Read the instructions carefully, because controls vary. Don’t disconnect the battery, make sure the charging leads are connected the right way round (positive to positive, negative to negative) and the vehicle will remain undamaged and fully charged ready for your return.
Battery charger reviews on driving.co.uk:
TIM’LL FIX IT
Tim Shallcross used to train AA patrols to fix cars. Now he advises the Institute of Advanced Motoring — read more from Tim here.
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