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Essential Guide To Winter Car Maintenance

On Thursday, November 12th, 2015

A lot of people don’t take the winter into consideration when it comes to their cars – but they should, in all honesty. As the temperature drops, it has an effect on your vehicle, the roads, and, of course, other drivers. To make sure you stay safe over the winter months, there are a few things you need to think about. Let’s take a closer look.

Winter Driving

Make regular checks

Maintenance is everything in the winter, as it is an unfamiliar environment for you and your car. It’s important to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition if you want to avoid breakdowns and accidents. Those slippery roads and icy corners mean that if you do have an accident, it’s likely to cost you – so your regular checks will help. There are a few essential things you need to do. First of all, check your oil level more often than you do in the summer. Your engine will work harder in the cooler temperatures, and that means it will guzzle your oil up quick. You should also check your coolants and lights – you’ll be using both a lot more when it’s cold.

Change your tyres

As soon as the weather drops under seven degrees, you may have to change your tyres. They should be swapped out for winter tyres to give you more of the grip that you need. You can even get 4×4 tyres for winter, which you should use when the temperature drops enough. There are some general points to watch out for, too. If you have low tread or a slow puncture, it’s going to be much harder to control your car safely when there’s a frost or slippery surface.

Watch your battery

Car batteries tend to suffer a lot during winter and can struggle to start a cool car. If yours starts doing this, it’s probably best to get a replacement. It might be worth getting a charger to give it a boost, and always carry jump leads on the off chance you can’t get started while out and about.

Brake checks

Another important thing to look out for is your brakes. Of course, on an icy road, your brakes aren’t going to be as efficient, but if they are already troublesome, you are going to have more problems. Make sure you take a look at your stopping distances for colder conditions and be a lot more aware when you are out driving. If you notice any squeaks, shakiness or pedal softness, make sure you bring your car to a garage asap.

Wipers

It sounds like such a small thing, but it has enormous importance. Your wipers are your eyes on the road, and without them you could be blind. Visibility is reduced during the winter, and it is essential that you have the clearest line of sight possible. Check your windscreen wipers and make sure that they work properly, replacing them if necessary.

There you have it – the bare essentials that you will need for safer driving in the winter. If you have any more tips to add, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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