Now that winter is upon us, its important to make sure your car is prepared for the harsh winter weather and is safe for difficult driving conditions. It’s time for a quick winter car maintenance check.
Falling temperatures can lead to car breakdowns during the winter, so here are some tips from the experts for winter car maintenance.
Take Your Car for a Regular Service
If your car is due for a service, make sure you its done before the winter really takes hold. Regular car servicing and maintenance checks can avoid at least 50%, if not 100%, of problems caused to your vehicle by cold weather. The great news is that we provide absolutely FREE winter car checks to ensure you are driving safely.
Check Your Car’s Battery
Winter driving increases the use of light bulbs, the heaters and the fan in your car which increases battery usage. Make sure you get your car battery checked by an experienced mechanic and replace it if needed. A good battery usually lasts about 5 years.
Refill Engine Coolant
The ideal mix for your engine coolant is 50/50 of water and antifreeze. It is worth noting that antifreeze becomes diluted over time and it should be refilled at regular intervals. Some car owners top up with water throughout the year, further diluting the antifreeze, reducing its effectiveness. The water could freeze and cause damage to your engine, possibly resulting in a sizeable repair bill.
Check Your Car’s Tyres Condition
Good tyres are extremely important to ensure safe braking and steering of your car. You should check that the tyres are in good condition before making a journey. First check the pressure and tread depth of the tyres. The recommended tread depth for car tyres is 3mm, while the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. The correct tread depth of your car’s tyres will give your vehicle better grip while driving on snowy and icy roads. Even better, you can replace the existing tyres with winter tyres – they are exclusively designed to help drivers overcome the driving challenges of the winter season. Ask your us about the advantages of having special winter tyres.
Clean All Lights & Indicators
Thoroughly clean all the light bulbs, indicators and mirrors on your car. If you find any blown light bulbs or cracked lens, get them replaced immediately. And more importantly, check whether full beam headlights, fog lights and indicators on your vehicle are working properly.
Clean the Wiper Blades & Windscreen
Clean your windscreen and wiper blades with a wet cloth. Don’t forget to check screen washer fluid. If fluid is below the recommended level, top it up with screenwash liquid. Check the wiper blades for any tears, nicks or cuts. Clean any marks on the windscreen regularly as dirt will build up and reduce good visibility.
Gear Up For a Longer Drive
If you are planning for a longer car drive in winter, check the weather forecast and find out the safest routes for your journey. Allow plenty of time for your journey. Clear ice and snow from all windows and ensure you have some de-icer. Make sure your car is topped up with antifreeze. There are plenty of guides and tips available on the internet on how to drive safely during cold weather.
Equip Your Car With a Winter Breakdown Kit
It is a good idea to equip your car with a winter breakdown kit. This includes a torch, blanket, shovel, hi-visibility vest, de-icer, screenwash, snow grips for your shoes, and food and drink supplies, in case you need it . Check your mobile phone is fully charged before you leave on the journey. Drive slowly, stay alert and stay tuned in to the radio to keep up with weather and traffic updates while on the road.
Have Good Breakdown Cover
Comprehensive breakdown cover is important, especially during the harsh winter season. You will be reassured that you aren’t going to get stuck in the cold. It’s time to check your policy and always carry the contact number while on the road.
Keep your fuel tank full and check the engine oil regularly, especially before you start out on a long journey. It is also important to check the brake system and drive belt conditions before you set off for the journey.
If you feel your car could do with a check up, why don’t you bring your car to us and take advantage of our many years of experience and expertise. We will ensure your car is fit for the wintery conditions ahead.