Winter is often associated with car failure. The sight of someone, sitting forlornly on their car bonnet, at the side of the road is a common one during the colder months. This is avoidable, though. With a little bit of care and attention before winter sets in, your car won’t have any problems. Below are our top tips for surviving the frost!
- Check your tyres.
A car’s tyres become even more important during the winter. Frost and ice can create hazardous driving conditions that will cause trouble for worn out tyres. Before the weather takes a turn for the worse, check the condition of your tyres.
We discussed what to look for in one of our previous blogs. To summarise, make sure that there aren’t any cuts, bulges, or side wall splitting. You also need to make sure that your tread depth isn’t below 3mm. It is legal to go below this depth but it isn’t advisable (especially in the winter).
If your tyres are looking worn, get them replaced! It’s always better to be safe than sorry. On top of this, if your tyres are unsafe you could face a hefty fine and some points on your license.
Our breakers have access to almost every type of tyre and at a price that will save you a lot of money! Check out our part finder for more information.
- Check your car in for a service.
Try and time your car services so that they occur just before winter. If this isn’t possible, try and utilise some of the great free/reduced winter car checks that are offered by many businesses!
This will ensure that your car is ready for the winter and that all the relevant maintenance checks have been carried out.
Also, a lot of the time a service or winter check around this time will flag up any of the other problems that we have talked about in this blog!
- Sort out your engine coolant!
This is a step in winter preparation that a lot of people miss. Your engine coolant should always be a 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. This prevents the coolant from freezing in cold weather. If the coolant freezes, your engine can overheat very quickly which can lead to big problems for your car.
The reason you need to top it up with antifreeze is that, over the course of the year, the coolant will become diluted. It’s a quick job that can save you a lot of pain!
- Have your battery tested.
Finally, it’s important to have your battery tested. Batteries are put under a lot more strain in the winter months. Prolonged use of headlights and the heater, for example, means your battery is being used more. Combined with the fact that cold weather will reduce your battery’s output, the chance of waking up to a drained battery in the morning is much higher.
Ideally, when you take your car in for your pre-winter service, have the battery checked by a professional. They will know quickly if it needs to be replaced. Having a new battery installed before winter will ensure that you won’t have any problems!
We’ll cover more winter readiness tips in a later blog. For now, we hope that this has helped you to prepare your car for the cold months ahead.
If you need to replace any car parts, it’s a good idea to do it before the winter season. Demand invariably goes up which could raise prices. Be proactive and take a look at our part finder or part directory. You could save yourself a lot of money over going to your local garage!