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Most motorists will know that by carrying out regular maintenance of their vehicles they can delay having to invest in new car parts to replace worn out components - saving themselves money in the long run.

But one part drivers often overlook is their car's battery, claims vehicle battery maintenance specialist CTEK.

It notes that car batteries are becoming more expensive to replace at a time when motorists are feeling the pinch of other rising costs associated with driving, such as insurance and fuel prices.

But, with a little care and attention it is possible to extend the life of your battery meaning you need to replace it less frequently.

CTEK offers a step-by-step guide to carrying out basic battery maintenance that even complete novices should be able to accomplish.

The first thing to do is to disconnect the battery, says the company, before cleaning the top side with a mixture of one part baking soda to eight parts water using a brush and cloth to dry.

After this, use the same technique to clean the battery's terminals before reconnecting the battery and applying a coat of petroleum jelly to the terminals to prevent corrosion.

Once this is done, you can use a charger to recharge the battery to full capacity. CTEK advises that smart charges can be used to simultaneously condition the battery by, for example, removing a build up of sulphur.

These steps will help increase the life of the battery exponentially, says the company, and therefore should be included alongside other routine vehicle maintenance duties.

It follows recent figures from the RAC which revealed that one in three call outs to the breakdown service are made because of non-starting vehicles, with flat batteries among the most common problems.

The RAC noted that the current cold snap being experienced across much of the UK could exacerbate the issue.