The Flemish breakdown assistance, VAB, is expecting to receive double the normal amount of calls on Monday, it said on Sunday. This is because of the cold snap that will hit Belgium. Extra staff members have been put on call and they have increased their stock of batteries.
Four breakdowns in five caused by cold temperatures are because the battery has failed, according to the VAB. Batteries don’t work as well in cold weather and a lot of cars won’t start in the morning, after minus temperatures overnight. This is especially frequent at the weekend, when a lot of cars haven’t been used in a day or two.
To avoid problems, the VAB recommends turning off all non-essential units like the GPS, heating…. They also advise turning on the lights only once the vehicle has started. The mobility organisation also strongly advises against using jump leads, which can “seriously damage the sensitive electronic systems in modern cars if used improperly. It is better to ask for professional help”.
In November last year, the French-speaking breakdown assistance company Touring had already issued a warning about cold temperatures, saying that according to their figures one motorist in two breaks down and one in ten has an accident over the winter. They advise preparing your car and keeping a thick coat or a blanket in your car in case you do break down.