Is your car ready for winter?
Winter is particularly taxing on cars, from the extra strain that cold weather puts on your engine to the difficulty that icy conditions pose to your tyres. Driving your car in the winter without performing simple health checks can put you at anincreased risk of accidents, as well as leaving your car vulnerable to breakdowns.
Here are our top tips for preparing your car for winter:
Getting your tyres ready for winter
First things first, check your tyres. Your car’s tyres are crucial for both steering and braking, so it’s important they’re in good condition to keep you safe on the roads this winter.
You should check both the pressure and the tread depth of your tyres. Although the minimum legal tyre depth is 1.6mm, it’s recommended to have a minimum of 3mm of tread in winter to give you extra grip in the ice and snow.
If you’ll be driving a lot this winter, it’s worth considering winter tyre which will provide you with extra grip when you’re driving in the ice, slush and snow.
Preparing your windscreen for winter
The cold weather can cause any chips in your windscreen to grow, so it’s important to carefully check your windscreen. Many car insurance policies cover windscreen chips without impacting your no claims bonus, so it’s worth checking and getting them repaired before the damage becomes any more extensive.
It’s also important to top up your screen washer fluid with antifreeze to stop it from freezing in the cold weather. Making sure you have ample screen wash will also help your visibility when you’re driving in wet or slushy conditions.
Checking your battery for winter
The battery is probably the part of your car which is most impacted by winter. Its output will be reduced by the cold weather, whilst you’re likely to be using it more than usual for heating and lights. This causes additional strain to your battery when it’s already struggling.
If your car is having problems starting, get the battery checked and replaced if necessary, to prevent any inconvenient breakdowns over the winter months. There’s nothing worse than your car refusing to start in the supermarket carpark when it’s pouring it down with rain!
Preparing your engine for winter
Your engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. However, many people make the mistake of topping their engine coolant up with water during the year. This results in the coolant becoming diluted and freezing during cold weather.
If your engine coolant freezes, you may be left with a very costly repair bill. To prevent this from happening, top your engine coolant up with antifreeze, especially if you’re guilty of topping it up with water through summer!
Checking your lights for winter
It’s important to regularly check that your lights are in full working condition at any time of the year, but it’s especially important in winter when your lights are being used regularly.
Check your lights, indicators and rear reflectors for any blown bulbs or cracked lenses. This includes your full beam headlights, fog lights and reverse lights which are commonly overlooked. Blown bulbs can be easily and cheaply replaced, helping you to avoid an accident on dark nights.
Get your car serviced for winter
If your car is due a service, get it done before winter begins. The cold weather is responsible for many issues with cars, but up to 50% of these could be prevented with regular servicing and maintenance checks.
Many garages offer free or discounted ‘winter car checks’ which check many of your car’s critical components. It’s a good idea to take advantage of this – but make sure you ask for a cost upfront for any additional services they recommend.
If you decide it’s time to upgrade your car, Anycolourcar can offer you a fair and honest price for your old car. Contact us today to get your no-obligation quote.