It is important to check your car regularly to make sure that it is good working order. However at the start of the winter season it is more important to check your car over so that you know that the car will working to its optimum in the harsh winter weather conditions.
Obviously tyres are really important and if your tyres don’t have much tread left, they aren’t going to perform well and hold the road during the wintery road conditions. The minimum legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6 mm, however realistically this isn’t enough tread to see you through the rain, ice and snow of winter. It’s not just the tread that wears out, have a look around the wall of the tyres for bulges, cracks or foreign objects.
Checking your cars antifreeze levels is very important; after all you don’t want the water in the engine freezing up. Cooling system failure is the leading cause of engine related breakdowns during the winter months. The easiest way to test that your engine has enough antifreeze to survive the winter is to get an antifreeze tester. The tester checks the water to antifreeze ratio in your cooling system and you simply top up with more water or antifreeze depending on what the tester results are.
Windscreen wipers see a lot of action in the winter. Make sure that the window wipers on your car remove water from your windscreen screen efficiently. They may need replacing if they are cracked or if they do not remove water in one wipe.
Window Wash Fluid
You will be using your window wash fluid more regularly during the winter, make sure you keep it topped up with a quality,degreasing window wash solution.
Batteries can sometime find winter weather hardgoing, especially an aging battery. Make sure that all the battery connections are pushed on tightly and make sure that the wires are in good repair.
If you do experience problems, you can get your battery tested to determine if this is the source of the problem.
Check your breaks and your brake fluid levels. When visibility is reduced and the road surface is slippy you need to know that you have reliable breaks. They could save your life.
Treat your car to a nice wash and wax. This isn’t just so that it will look pristine, but it will protect the paint work from the cold weather conditions and salt that they use to keep the roads ice free, and will also make snow and ice slip off the car easily.
Rear Heated Window
You probably haven’t used your heater rear window all summer long, so switch it on and just make sure that it is still working correctly.
Make sure that your fog lights are in full working order and the bulbs don’t need replacing.
It is important that the driver and the passengers of the car are comfortable, so make sure that the climate control in the car is still working correctly.
If you are worried at all you should take your car to a garage to be looked at by a professional. Some garages offer free winter checks and it is advisable to take advantage of such an offer for your piece of mind and safety.
If you do have a break down, it is worth considering keeping a blanket and some chocolate in the car. You may have to wait a while in a cold car for the recovery wagon to arrive, and you will need to keep warm.