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My car stopped working and I need advice.

Sorry I don't know much about cars but I need some help because mine recently stopped working and I'm conflicted with what to do next. I have a 2015 Vauxhall Corsa and it has been in use for a good 7 years now with over 62,000 mileage. This car was initially my brothers who used to drive it a lot, then he gave it to my mum and then she gave it to me after getting a new car.

The car has been working fine for the past year that I started to drive it but last night when I got into my car after work, I put the keys in the ignition and it wouldn't start . The dashboard lights showed up but the engine wouldn't start. So I called the AA breakdown service and they said that the battery is low and they recommend replacing it. They said it could have been caused due to not driving the car much

With me being a relatively new driver I'm not very confident on the roads and I only drive to 2 places which is to work and back (7.6 miles) and also to the gym (2.5 miles). So I'm wondering if it's because I drive significantly less than my mom: thats could be why it happened.

My dad took it to a mechanic and he said that the battery doesn't need replacing, it just needs to be driven more for longer distances and it will be fine. So I dont know who to believe? Replace the battery or just drive it more? Thanks
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by SongBird2020
Sorry I don't know much about cars but I need some help because mine recently stopped working and I'm conflicted with what to do next. I have a 2015 Vauxhall Corsa and it has been in use for a good 7 years now with over 62,000 mileage. This car was initially my brothers who used to drive it a lot, then he gave it to my mum and then she gave it to me after getting a new car.

The car has been working fine for the past year that I started to drive it but very recently when I got into my car after work, I put the keys in the ignition and it wouldn't start . The dashboard lights showed up but the engine wouldn't start. So I called the AA breakdown service and they said that the battery is low and they recommend replacing it. They said it could have been caused due to not driving the car a lot.

With me being a relatively new driver I'm not very confident on the roads and I only drive to 2 places which is to work and back (7.6 miles) and also to the gym (2.5 miles). So I'm wondering if it's because I drive significantly less than my mom and dad it's causing problems.

My dad took it to a mechanic and he said that the battery doesn't need replacing, it just needs to be driven more for longer distances and it will be fine. So I dont know who to believe? Replace the battery or just drive it more? Thanks


ive never heard of a battery being replaced. also 62000 miles isnt really that much, especially not enough to replace the battery.

drive the car longer distances as he said (not even that long, like 30 minutes or something) more frequently and the battery recharges itself as the car moves. the battery can just die if the car hasnt been used for a while and it needs to be jump started and then run for a bit and then its fine
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by user8937264980
ive never heard of a battery being replaced. also 62000 miles isnt really that much, especially not enough to replace the battery.

drive the car longer distances as he said (not even that long, like 30 minutes or something) more frequently and the battery recharges itself as the car moves. the battery can just die if the car hasnt been used for a while and it needs to be jump started and then run for a bit and then its fine

But would you say my usual journey to work and back , (Monday to Friday) would be enough? Or is it not enough driving? Bare in mind it takes me atleast an hour to get to work due to traffic. I also thought it could be because I had the radio on in the car a lot which may have drained the battery even more.
Original post by SongBird2020
But would you say my usual journey to work and back , (Monday to Friday) would be enough? Or is it not enough driving? Bare in mind it takes me atleast an hour to get to work due to traffic. I also thought it could be because I had the radio on in the car a lot which may have drained the battery even more.

i would've thought 15 miles daily is enough to be honest. though the fact that it takes more than double what it should because of traffic means that you're stationary or hardly moving a lot so the battery is recharging at a much lower rate which might not charge it sufficiently. also i dont think the radio would have an adverse effect on the battery

i dont think the battery is finished but lack of yearly service, maintenance etc might mean it has. try to go on longish journeys on the weekend - on a local dual carriageway or something where you can maintain a higher speed for some time. if the problem keeps happening after a couple weeks then there might be an issue with the battery
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by user8937264980
i would've thought 15 miles daily is enough to be honest. though the fact that it takes more than double what it should because of traffic means that you're stationary or hardly moving a lot so the battery is recharging at a much lower rate which might not charge it sufficiently. also i dont think the radio would have an adverse effect on the battery

i dont think the battery is finished but lack of yearly service, maintenance etc might mean it has. try to go on longish journeys on the weekend - on a local dual carriageway or something where you can maintain a higher speed for some time. if the problem keeps happening after a couple weeks then there might be an issue with the battery


Yeah it's a lot of stopping and starting and I'm not really driving it at speeds up to 70 mph apart from when I go to the Gym at weekends which is a much shorter distance anyway. And tbh that's a shame because it would mean my mum would probably drive it more in the weekends because she's more confident and has more places to go. So there's more petrol costs since she already has a car.

It seems like it's not possible to just go to work and back and not drive it for 2 days in the weekend. I thought its just because the car is old or maybe any car would be like that?
Original post by SongBird2020
Yeah it's a lot of stopping and starting and I'm not really driving it at speeds up to 70 mph apart from when I go to the Gym at weekends which is a much shorter distance anyway. And tbh that's a shame because it would mean my mum would probably drive it more in the weekends because she's more confident and has more places to go. So there's more petrol costs since she already has a car.

It seems like it's not possible to just go to work and back and not drive it for 2 days in the weekend. I thought its just because the car is old or maybe any car would be like that?

it shouldnt be like that and im not trying to say you need to keep going on long weekend drives for the rest of the car's life - my point is that the battery may be on low charge and the journeys you do arent recharging it enough - so the amount of charge you regain from the journeys you do minus the charge used during journeys and charge used starting the car = a very small value and not enough to sustain the level of charge necessary.

so try a few long journeys to give it a chance to recharge more and if the problem persists then theres an issue.

also its not like its a myth that a cars age matters, but it really doesnt matter that much. like i said if it hasnt been serviced properly thats more of an issue. a 7yo car with 62k miles shouldnt have this issue to this extent
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by user8937264980
it shouldnt be like that and im not trying to say you need to keep going on long weekend drives for the rest of the car's life - my point is that the battery may be on low charge and the journeys you do arent recharging it enough - so the amount of charge you regain from the journeys you do minus the charge used during journeys and charge used starting the car = a very small value and not enough to sustain the level of charge necessary.

so try a few long journeys to give it a chance to recharge more and if the problem persists then theres an issue.

also its not like its a myth that a cars age matters, but it really doesnt matter that much. like i said if it hasnt been serviced properly thats more of an issue. a 7yo car with 62k miles shouldnt have this issue to this extent

Yeah I see what you mean. It's just that I don't really have much of a social life and my mum does all the weekly shopping in her car since I still live at home so there's not really many long journeys I could take. Also motorway driving still scares me quite a bit since I'm not that experienced on the road. So maybe I might need to just sell the car and use public transport if I can't drive it on long distances a few times a week.

It's just a shame that there's no way of checking the level of battery on the car so I would know when it would need more longer drives.
Original post by user8937264980
ive never heard of a battery being replaced


? They go bad quite often esp when heavily drained and their ability to hold a charge is reduced, unless you meant something else? I've replaced several.

OP, were the AA able to restart the car and battery ok? they just recommended a replacement? Tbh using it for a dozen or so miles a day maybe shouldn't have it dying over the weekend, is it possible something was left on etc? but as said, it's often a good idea to take cars out for a good high speed motorway run every so often to ensure strong charge and healthy car, like once a month. I should add that the AA etc are v much in the business of selling you expensive roadside parts, I've never had them check a battery and not tell me to buy a new one.

Btw don't get too stressed out about motorways, despite the speed most people are better behaved and you have less angles to worry about,I often far prefer it to local roads in terms of stress.
Original post by StriderHort
? They go bad quite often esp when heavily drained and their ability to hold a charge is reduced, unless you meant something else? I've replaced several.

OP, were the AA able to restart the car and battery ok? they just recommended a replacement? Tbh using it for a dozen or so miles a day maybe shouldn't have it dying over the weekend, is it possible something was left on etc? but as said, it's often a good idea to take cars out for a good high speed motorway run every so often to ensure strong charge and healthy car, like once a month. I should add that the AA etc are v much in the business of selling you expensive roadside parts, I've never had them check a battery and not tell me to buy a new one.

Btw don't get too stressed out about motorways, despite the speed most people are better behaved and you have less angles to worry about,I often far prefer it to local roads in terms of stress.


Well what actually happened was, I waited for the AA to come for about 4 hours. As soon as they finally arrived, they came in and managed to start the car right away and there were no issues! So it seemed like the car battery charged by itself in the time the engine was off and I was waiting for them to come. Nothing was left on in the car because all of the lights were set to auto so they would automatically switch off when they are not required to be on. They just checked the battery level of the car and they said it's really low and should be replaced. When you say high speed motorway run, how many miles would you say is sufficient? I would tend to prefer going at late nights due to less traffic.

Motorways are fine once you have joined, it's just when I'm on the slip road, sometimes it's hard to judge if a car is slowing down or speeding up to allow you to join. Lorry's are also harder to judge because it takes them longer to slow down for you and sometimes I feel like they may collide right into me ! So usually I'd let them pass first...but that makes it harder to join before the slip road ends! I just have really bad anxiety ...
Original post by SongBird2020
Well what actually happened was, I waited for the AA to come for about 4 hours. As soon as they finally arrived, they came in and managed to start the car right away and there were no issues! So it seemed like the car battery charged by itself in the time the engine was off and I was waiting for them to come. Nothing was left on in the car because all of the lights were set to auto so they would automatically switch off when they are not required to be on. They just checked the battery level of the car and they said it's really low and should be replaced. When you say high speed motorway run, how many miles would you say is sufficient? I would tend to prefer going at late nights due to less traffic.

Motorways are fine once you have joined, it's just when I'm on the slip road, sometimes it's hard to judge if a car is slowing down or speeding up to allow you to join. Lorry's are also harder to judge because it takes them longer to slow down for you and sometimes I feel like they may collide right into me ! So usually I'd let them pass first...but that makes it harder to join before the slip road ends! I just have really bad anxiety ...


You just gotta practice and join the motorway when there is more than enough space for you (until you get more confidence)

Really doesn’t have to be a long journey, 10-15 mins on the motorway should be fine and that also depends on how long it takes to get to a local motorway.

It might be worth turning ur lights off manually or checking that they’re actually off when you get out the car - as the car is old the sensors may be dodgy. Also if you have an aftermarket radio they can stay on when the car is switched off and drain the battery so check if that turns off too
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by SongBird2020
Well what actually happened was, I waited for the AA to come for about 4 hours. As soon as they finally arrived, they came in and managed to start the car right away and there were no issues! So it seemed like the car battery charged by itself in the time the engine was off and I was waiting for them to come. Nothing was left on in the car because all of the lights were set to auto so they would automatically switch off when they are not required to be on. They just checked the battery level of the car and they said it's really low and should be replaced. When you say high speed motorway run, how many miles would you say is sufficient? I would tend to prefer going at late nights due to less traffic.

Motorways are fine once you have joined, it's just when I'm on the slip road, sometimes it's hard to judge if a car is slowing down or speeding up to allow you to join. Lorry's are also harder to judge because it takes them longer to slow down for you and sometimes I feel like they may collide right into me ! So usually I'd let them pass first...but that makes it harder to join before the slip road ends! I just have really bad anxiety ...


Hey how have you been getting on? I recently passed my driving test last month and got my car almost two weeks, my dad and his wife went with me to get the car and then they had me driving around for a bit to get use to it and then driving down the motorway! I was a nervous wreck! Motorway wasn’t so bad as it was a Sunday but first time driving down them wow. And then I drove down the motorway again this week, I was on my own, visiting my dad and his wife, and there’s two ways to get there, either the motorway which takes 15 minutes, or another way to avoid the motorway which takes 23 minutes.. I decided sod it I’ll drive the motorway, and I was anxious getting on the slip road because was always told that’s the worst part and then once you’re on the motorway it’s fine, and you just pick up the speed so you’re doing the same as what other are doing on the motorway, indicate, check over left mirror and shoulder, and merge onto the lane. Those on the motorway normally always check the slip road to see if a car is merging and will either slow down or speed up so the car can merge, depending how fast the car is going, or they’ll go in the middle lane if they can to make it easier. My friend practiced driving down motorways in the middle of the night and built her confidence up that way with them and gradually started going on them when there would be a bit more traffic. You just do what you feel comfortable doing :smile:

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