Winter Maintnance Tips

Winter driving conditions can be challenging for vehicles and can easily catch you off guard.

However, you can make sure your vehicle is prepared for the winter weather with a little little planning.

Here is a list of the most important maintenance advice.

Keep Your Lights Clean

Winter causes cars to get quite dirty very quickly, the salt used for gritting on the roadways is a major cause of this. As a result, it's crucial to maintainkeep your lights clean. If your vehicle lacks headlight washers, simply wipe them off with a cloth.

According to the road safety organisation IAM RoadSmart, on a wet, gritted motorway, you can lose up to 40% brightness in around 20 miles.

Its best to have someone check the operation of all the lights while standing outside the vehicle.

Clean off licence plate as well. If your vehicle has an illegible licence plate, you risk receiving a fine. 

Test Your Battery

A flat or malfunctioning battery is one of the leading causes of vehicle breakdowns, and the danger of battery failure is higher in cold, rainy, and icy weather.

If at all possible, aim to replace your car's battery every three years, or sooner if it seems to be struggling in the cold.

The engine turning over more slowly than usual when you start it is one of the warning indicators of battery failure, according to Green Flag. Additionally, while you're driving, the red battery light on the instrument display can flicker, or it might take longer than usual for it to turn off once you start the engine.

Top Up The Antifreeze

Make sure your antifreeze is full since it prevents the water in your engine's cooling system from freezing.

Depending on the car and the required type of coolant, the coolant should be changed every 2 to 5 years.

Most also work as a summer coolant stopping the system from overheating in the warmer months.

Check Your Tyres

Worn tyres are hazardous at all times, but even more so in icy, snowy, or muddy conditions when stopping distances increase significantly.

In order to maintain safe stopping distances, experts advise changing tyres at 3mm rather than the minimal 1.6mm required by law. Make sure you have a roadworthy spare as well.

As well as tread condition, mainting the correct pressures within the tyres is also just as important.

Its also worth looking to buy some snow chains, stockings, or winter tyres if you regularly travel on unpaved or bumpy roads.

Check Wiper Blades & Screen Wash

Verify that your wipers are in good shape, free of holes or tears, and capable of cleaning your windscreen effectively. You can occasionally wipe them down with a fresh cloth. Its worth noting however, Auto Windscreens advises against pulling wiper blades from a frozen window or turning them on if the screen is covered in ice since the rubber may tear.

You'll also need a lot of washer fluid because the volume of spray striking your windscreen during the winter months when the roads are wet, muddy, or salty is increased. Not only is it illegal, but it's also risky to drive without fluid in the screen washer container.

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