Probably the most common reason for a car breakdown or its failure to start is a fault with the battery. In the UK people normally associate this with cold, damp weather but the reverse is the case here in Tenerife. Extreme heat and dryness mean that a battery can give up without any notice – a big surprise to most people, although it is quite common. Many people will happily go on a journey to, say, a shopping centre, visiting friends, or sightseeing and on returning to their vehicle, 15 minutes, an hour or several hours later, the car will not start. Panic sets in as people don 't understand this, as there has generally been no indication of the battery's deterioration. It is also true that the batteries here do not seem to last as long as they would do in colder conditions.
If you have Grua cover (i.e. breakdown cover) with your Car Insurance, which the majority of Insurances do these days, you may call a Grua who will come out and will quite often be able to start the vehicle using jump leads or a battery booster. This is generally enough to get you to your garage where you can arrange for the battery to be tested. This involves a simple test to see what voltage the battery is showing. If the reading is not satisfactory a new battery is normally necessary which your testing agent will assist you with. If you are unsure and have gone to a petrol filling station (where you will often pay far more than at your local garage) then in general the staff will help you to select the correct one, although it is always better to go to a garage or mechanic that you know and trust.
It is always a good idea to carry a set of jump leads, which can be purchased from most good garages or car accessories stores, Al Campo or Carrefour and in the larger Hiperdino and Hipertrebo outlets. If you have your own jump leads, you will often find a helpful motorist who will assist you with a 'jump start' - especially true if you are a woman alone or have children in the car with you. Remember if you have to leave your vehicle you must put on your hi-vis jacket and wait in a safe place. Currently, you should place your warning triangles, or if you have already purchased one, the new warning device - the flashing magnetic light to the roof of the vehicle. At the moment triangles are still permitted and should be placed at the front and rear of the car to warn oncoming motorists.
Naturally, the battery is by no means the only reason a car does not start but it is by far the most common. With many modern cars a battery warning light is fitted which warns you when the battery is low. Always take heed of any warning lights that appear on your dashboard and act accordingly!
We at Motorworld will always be happy to help with exchanges or to answer any questions you may have.