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Sound advice from the AA amid breakdown predictions

The AA's likely to attend up to 17,000 call outs on 2 Jan Credit: Press Association

The return to work tomorrow is expected to be one of the busiest days of 2013 for breakdowns, says the AA, which is likely to attend up to 17,000 call-outs – around 60 per cent busier than normal.

Many cars get left unused in often cold, wet conditions over the festive period, so come January, you get problems like flat batteries.

An AA spokesman said: “Although it’s been milder, further bad weather is forecast over New Year, so many people will wake up with a breakdown headache on Wednesday.

If your car has been left sitting, ideally trickle charge the battery or, if weather conditions permit, take it out before then for at least half an hour to boost the battery.

“Switch off all the electrics and dip the clutch when starting but, if it doesn’t fire up initially, use the starter in short five-second bursts, leaving thirty seconds between attempts to allow the battery to recover.”