Winter is a time that we, as humans, are not terribly fond of. Here’s a little secret – our cars aren’t too keen on it either. The wet, cold weather and the dark, short days see far more breakdowns than in the summer months. Spending a little time now can save you being stuck at the side of a road, awaiting rescue.
There are a number of things you can do to that help keep you safe on the roads during winter. Many of them are really obvious, but that doesn’t stop us forgetting to do some of them.
Prevention is almost always cheaper than a cure. We’ll happily take a look at your car and make sure everything’s tickety-boo for you.
When the roads are wet, your tyres move an amazing amount of water from the surface. The less tread you have, the less water they’re moving and the less grip you’ll have. And always make time to check your tyre pressures, ideally once a week during winter driving.
You’ll be using more power, for your heater, lights etc. So make sure that your battery can cope. If your car is not being used for a while, you should make sure you start it often and drive it (even around the block) when you can. This helps the stop the battery from failing.
Make sure all your lights are working. And clear your lights before you set off on a journey. Stay bright, stay seen.
Antifreeze is another important element of keeping your car running smoothly. It stops the water in the engine’s cooling system from freezing. If it freezes your engine can overheat.
Make sure you’ve always got more fuel than you need. If you hit an unexpected delay, the last thing you want is to run out of fuel.
A squirt of WD-40 in your locks can help stop them from freezing.
When roads are wet cars tend to throw up lots of grime onto the windscreen of the car behind. It’s vital that you top-up your screenwash regularly, so that your visibility isn’t affected. We’d recommend using a 50/50 mix of screenwash and water, to help stop it freezing.
Make sure your breakdown cover is still valid and offers you everything you may need. It’s easier to do it now, rather than from the side of a freezing road.
You never know how long you might be stuck for. So be prepared and make sure you can survive anything nature throws at you. We’ve even written a blog on the emergency winter kit to help you know what to carry with you.
So there you have it! 10 winter car checks to keep you running smoothly. You can always pop into Kays Garage and we’ll have a look at your vehicle and make sure it’s ready for the winter ahead. Safe motoring.