Cold, icy weather can have a significant impact on vehicles, so it’s essential to keep it well maintained and ensure it’s ready for winter. Cars needs to be able to deal with wet, windy and icy conditions, so drivers need to be sure their vehicles can cope with the extra pressure. As experts in vehicle servicing and maintenance, we’ve put together a checklist of everything you need to do to make sure cars stay healthy and happy throughout the approaching winter.
Engine coolant and anti-freeze
Firstly, make sure the coolant is between the minimum and maximum markers. You also need to check the engine coolant has anti-freeze within it – you can get your local garage to check the strength. A frozen engine isn’t just an inconvenience – it can be expensive to fix.
Checking the tyre tread is really important for winter driving. Check the tyre pressure and also look for any surface damage such as splits or bulges. If you live in an area which is exposed to extreme wintry conditions, you may want to put on winter tyres.
Your screenwash also has to be able to withstand freezing conditions or your washer pump could freeze over. Choose a screenwash which protects down to at least -10C or -20C if you live in an area which tends to get extreme wintry weather.
Many cars have battery problems in the winter, as the cold weather puts extra pressure on the battery to start the car – especially if it’s an older, weaker battery. Batteries can discharge and fall flat much easier, so make sure you check the battery on a regular basis. RAC recommends charging your battery once a week throughout the winter months. Here are some more tips to prevent battery failure:
- Turn off all applications before turning your engine off – heating, lights, wipers, unplug phone chargers and sat navs. This can put extra demands on the battery when starting up
- Ensure no interior lights are left on
- Park your car in a garage if possible
- Wiper Blades – Windscreen wipers can get damaged when they become frozen to the windscreen. Check them regularly for damage, as they are in action frequently over winter.
- Winter Service
The best way to prepare you vehicle for the cold months ahead is by checking it in for a winter service. This will ensure everything which needs to be checked gets checked by a professional, so your car is more likely to get through winter casualty free.