RACT Patrolman checking under the hood of a member's car
Tips & tricks

Signs your battery is going flat

No one wants to be stuck with a flat battery. Learn to recognise the signs your battery may be wearing out, and what you can do to avoid it ruining your day.

Did you know that batteries naturally lose their charge after 3-4 years? If your car sits in the driveway for long stretches of time, or you only go for short drives, it will go flat faster. 

Cold weather can also affect your battery, so as we move into the cooler months, it’s especially important to keep an eye on it and listen out for signs that it might be running low on charge. 

What are the signs? 

Your car might be slow to start or not start at all. You may also notice your headlights or your radio aren’t working.  These are some of the most obvious signs that your battery is going flat. 

If you lift the bonnet of your car, you may also notice a buildup of sulfate on the battery terminals. This looks grainy, a bit like salt or sand, and happens because the battery has started to break down. 

What can you do? 

As a rule, you should try to take your car out for at least a 30 minute drive once or twice a week. This helps to recharge the battery regularly. Avoid the temptation to just leave the engine running in your driveway. This won’t do you any favours and could lead to the engine overheating. 

Get your battery tested by our roadside team. If you’re a member, this is free. They can test your existing battery and help you choose and install a new one if needed. You can also buy a smart charger to help maintain your battery through periods of low use. 

And if your battery fails altogether? We’re here to help 24/7. We carry a range of batteries to suit most makes and models, plus if you're a member with us, you'll get $30 off the retail price, including free delivery and install in metro areas.