With winter now well and truly upon us, it’s essential to take the necessary precautions in order to look after your vehicle during the colder months ahead.
Here’s our Top 10 Car Care Tips to help you stay safe and avoid a breakdown this winter:
1. Check your tyres, including tyre pressure and tread depth. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tyres should also be checked for bulges and bald spots to avoid the dreaded ‘blow out’. Check your tyre pressure weekly as pressure is quickly lost when temperatures drop.
2. Check your oil and filters, adhering to you car manufacturer’s oil recommendations. A clean and efficient engine is essential to ensuring efficiency throughout the winter, and will make it less likely that you’ll need a garage to conduct a car repair during the season.
3. Radiator Fluid works as a coolant in the summer and as anti-freeze in the winter. You car’s radiator should contain a 50/50 mix of water and anti-freeze. Check your levels to ensure you have the right mix.
4. Keep battery connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. Cold weather is tough on batteries, so it’s advisable to check the battery and charging system. Be aware that batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail. To be on the safe side, it’s advisable to replace batteries that are more than three years old.
5. An obvious one, but a check that can be quite often overlooked, putting you and other road users in serious danger. Check to make sure all of your lights are working correctly including the indicators, brake lights and fog lights, replacing any faulty bulbs or blown fuses, sooner rather than later!
6. Most of us wash our car far less in the winter months, when infact it’s even more important to do so in the winter in order to remove salt, ice and snow from your paintwork to avoid rust. Corrosion can occur when temperatures dip above and below freezing. It is also advisable to apply car wax after washing your vehicle to protect the paint from the elements.
7. Don’t forget to top up washer fluid levels, and DO NOT dilute washer fluid with water since it can freeze during winter’s harsh temperatures. Check wiper blades and replace if necessary to prevent poor vision in already poor driving conditions.
8. Brakes – If you’re unsure of the condition of your brakes, have them checked. It obvious to any car user that brakes are critical to vehicle safety, but they are particularly important when driving on icy or snow-covered roads.
9. We’ve all done it in a rush to get to work on time but DO NOT defrost a frozen windscreen with a boiling kettle – the rapid change in temperature can turn any chip or imperfection into a large crack. Be prepared and make sure you put aside more time for your journey during the colder months.
10. On the subject preparation, always carry an emergency kit with you in the car. It may seem like an extreme measure, but you never know when you’ll be thankful for your forward planning! Items such as blankets, gloves, thermal socks and sturdy boots will keep you warm in case of a breakdown. Also consider a torch, flares, high energy snacks and a phone charger.
Rather leave it to the professionals? Give our friends over at Truline Garage in Bletchley a call on 01908 366571, and they’d be more than happy to help with your winter car servicing needs.