Satnavs and smartphones cause of car battery drain this winter

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 25th February 2015 11:38am

  • 62% of drivers are 'i-sapping' by using their vehicle to charge electronic devices
  • Electronics found to put added strain on car batteries
  • 36% of drivers use their car to charge their mobile phone

Research revealed today by Kwik Fit, the UK's largest automotive repair company, highlights the extent of 'i-sapping' caused by charging devices using the car battery. Three in five (62 per cent) UK drivers are charging devices from their vehicle, with satellite navigation, smart phones and tablets all featuring in the top five most energy sapping devices.

Kwik Fit warns that as temperatures remain low battery issues will continue to be a common cause for break downs and starting issues through to the end of winter. Using a vehicle to charge devices drains power from the battery and leaves vehicles short on the additional power needed to get started during the colder months.

This is exacerbated by the findings that over half (52%) of UK drivers do not get their car batteries checked during winter and more than one in three UK drivers (36%) incorrectly believes that their battery's health is checked during their car's MOT. This misconception means millions of drivers are ill prepared for winter every year as MOTs do not cover the full operation of batteries.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit said: "Many motorists don't realise the effect devices plugged into their cars can have on a battery. Satnavs, tablets and other gadgets that are designed to make our lives more comfortable can actually have the opposite effect, by cutting short the life of even a new battery and leaving us stuck with a car that won't start."

Number of drivers using car to charge the following devices:

Electronic Device Percentage Who Charge Using Car
1. Satellite Navigation 38%
2. Smartphone e.g. iPhone 36%
Mobile phone (excluding smart phones) 15%
iPod of other music device 10%
Tablet device e.g. iPad 7%

Source: Kwik Fit

Griggs continued: "It's important to remember that during the cold winter months, batteries have to work harder and plugging in additional devices can add to the struggle.

"At Kwik Fit, we often see an increase in vehicles coming in with battery issues when the temperatures drop, normally to the surprise of the customer.

"What's more one in five car batteries are over five years old, a usual turning point in a battery's life where serious issues begin to show themselves. Motorists who have an older battery or just feel their battery is lacking the 'oomph' to get them through the final leg of winter can come in and receive a free health check at any of the 670 Kwik Fit centres across the country."

- Ends -

Notes to Editor:

Research carried out by ICM Research amongst a nationally representative sample of 2,003 adults.
About Kwik Fit

Established in 1971, the Kwik Fit Group is one of the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialists in the world. Kwik Fit has over 600 service centres across the UK and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UK's leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MoT specialist.

For further information please contact:

Amrit Nijjer
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 020 7282 2803

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