Preparing Your Car For The Winter Months
The winter months are hard enough, let alone your car breaking down in some desolate area leaving you helpless, stranded and likely cold. Too often, people have a habit of overlooking car maintenance before winter sets in don’t put yourself in a difficult position. Here are some important tips to prevent getting stranded in the midst of winter.
During the winter months, you know how bad the roads get due to icy conditions and you might run the risk of skidding out of control. Keep your speed down, check your tyres regularly and make sure they are in good condition for handling winter roads. Carefully check the treads on all your tyres including the spare. If your tyres are old, replace them. Inflate and check the air pressure for the recommended pressure.
If you have a car manual, check it, if not, the information should be on the rim of your tyres. Your tyres are extremely crucial for your safety in your car and this becomes even more apparent when dealing with bad road conditions.
Before winter sets in, get your brake pads and the effectiveness of your braking system thoroughly checked out.
If your engine oil is low or your oil is getting dirty, you are leaving your car wide open for difficult weather conditions. Maybe visit your local garage and have the oil checked and changed when needed and make sure it’s topped up to the required levels.
It’s really important that you check your antifreeze. Antifreeze, year round, is a very important part of protecting your engine. It will prevent the coolant from overheating and boiling over in the summer and freezing in the winter. A mixture of equal water and antifreeze should be enough. That said, there could be changes in the requirements if your area will experience unusually harsh weather. It would be worth your time to purchase a tester kit to ensure you have the required proportions of antifreeze.
We’ve all been there and know how frustrating it is to find out your car won’t start and you have to wait for help to turn things around. In the winter, the pressure you are feeling is twice as difficult. Harsh conditions like this also puts added strain on your car’s battery. Before winter settles in, get your battery and charging system thoroughly checked out. You need to know everything is working properly.
Damaged or worn engine belts must be checked out as well because harsh winter temperatures will cause these belts to fail. Again, before winter sets in have the belts and hoses properly checked and replace them if needed.
Make sure to check the air filters for the interior of the vehicle. Dust and contaminants accumulate in the cabin air all year long. In the winter, when you switch on the heater these airborne contaminants will come into the cabin. This can lead to serious health conditions for you and your family. Also, clogged filters will damage your car’s HVAC system.
Visibility is another serious problem in the winter and the leading cause of accidents. Having terrible visibility only adds to the situation and possible hazardous driving driving conditions. Check your windscreen wipers before winter arrives. Purchase a good windshield cleaner with de-icing ingredients to deal with frosty conditions.
On top of all this, you will experience reduced daylight hours. You will have to rely on your car’s lights during the winter. If your lights are not working properly, you are adding to the problem. Check all the lamps and lights and replace them if they are not working correctly.
Purchase a good car wax to protect your car’s paint from harsh weather conditions. A good wax will help improve your car’s appearance.
Even though all these tips are great, there will always be the chance of a breakdown or an accident. You should always be well-prepared especially if you travel through isolated areas. Make sure you have a phone and it’s fully charged. Make sure you have essential phone numbers to call if you have an emergency or need your car towed. For longer and more isolated journies it’s a good idea to have a blanket, some extra food and water on hand. Have a first aid kit packed away with all the necessary items included. You should check the kit from time to time to ensure you have everything.
If you will be driving in an isolated area, make sure you have informed someone where you are going and when you should be expected back.
Before winter settles in, it’s a good idea to have your car inspected by an expert mechanic at a reputable garage. Prevention is way, way better than cure. To book a winter car check complete our short form below.