Return to Work Wednesday

Busiest day of the year for breakdowns

31 December 2007

Around 45,000 motorists in England and Wales are expected to wake up with a motoring New Year hangover on Wednesday morning (2 January), as their cars fail to get off the starting blocks for the return to work – but up to half of them could be prevented.

The AA is expecting it to be its busiest day of the year for breakdowns with the UK's biggest breakdown provider geared up for 16,000 call-outs – 70% more than on a normal Wednesday.

Adam Ashmore, the AA's Patrol of the Year, says: "Over the Christmas period, people often tend to use just the one car, so many cars just get left sitting in freezing, damp conditions for up to a fortnight.

"This can be a killer for car batteries, particularly, so it's a very busy day for us. Extremes of temperature affect the chemical performance of the battery, resulting in a loss of charge. If your car and its battery are in good condition, you should be fine, but if the battery is more than three years old, you are at risk, as modern engines give few warning signs of impending problems.

"If your car has been left sitting, take it out before Wednesday for at least half an hour to boost the battery, or alternatively, trickle charge it – a simple, but easily overlooked, tip that really could make the difference. While you're at it, check the car's oil, lights, tyres, windscreen wash and wipers – for the return to work, it's best to leave nothing to chance."

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31 December 2007