It’s easy to forget the necessary checks you need to do on your car before winter. Not only are these checks vital to the your safety, but they could also keep your fellow drivers safe. Servicing your car regularly will also save you money in the long run!
This time of year, the nights are becoming longer, and the days shorter meaning our lights are going to be put under pressure. It’s always a good idea to carry extra bulbs in case of an emergency, but it’s also important to remember to clean your lights. Dirt can build up easily and quickly, meaning that your visibility at night could be reduced greatly. Make sure you always take time to check that your lights work before driving. Pulling up to a reflective surface like a garage door, or even another car will quickly tell you if they’re working correctly. Remember, it’s not just the obvious lights, your indicators and internal lights should also be checked regularly.
An emergency kit is always worthwhile to have, even in the summer. You never know what a situation may call for. In every kit, there should be a mobile phone and charger, a high visibility vest, a first aid kit, a tow rope and a torch. For the winter, it’s important to make sure you also have a de-icer and a scraper, a shovel, wellies,warm clothes, and food and drink. Should an emergency arise, these things will really help you out.
The antifreeze stops the water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing, so as you can imagine, it’s rather important. You should test this regularly – just make sure the engine is cold first! It’s fairly easy to check the effectiveness – all you need is an antifreeze test which will only set you back by about £5. All you need to do is unscrew the coolant reservoir cap under the bonnet and lower the tube into the coolant. You then squeeze the rubber bulb on the end to suck up some antifreeze inside the tester. From there, you can read what the freezing point is on the tester and top up if needed. Just remember to replace the antifreeze in the car and screw the cap back on.
When it’s cold and wet outside, your car battery takes a beating – and it’s likely that at some point it may conk out completely! If it sounds as if it’s life is coming to an abrupt end, it’s a good idea to get it to a garage to assess the damage. If needed, you’ll be able to fix or buy a new one, most places will even fit it for you!
As you’ll be using your windscreen wipers a lot during the winter months, it’s a good idea to keep your screen wash topped up. If it’s empty, you may risk smearing dirt and grime across the windscreen. Screen wash has a lower freezing temperature than water, so you shouldn’t have any frozen washer jets.
Ensure to check the tread depth of your tyres. Anything less than 1.6mm – which is the legal limit – could put you at great risk. Anything more than this, however, is only a plus as it’ll improve your control of the car. If you’re a frequent driver during the cold months, a set of winter tyres will be well worth the investment, especially if we get any snow or ice this year!
Ensure you keep yourself and your car safe throughout the colder months – car repair bills don’t come cheap and the winter weather will only worsen your chances!
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