AutoRevive London's 10 tips for keeping your car running over winter.
It’s set to be a cold winter season, and if you need to keep your car running over winter to get from A to B, then here are ten tips from the team at AutoRevive London to keep your car in top condition, and keep you safe over the winter.
1. Keep safe by fully removing ice!
As we all know, ice on your windscreen is a regular occurrence in the winter, and no one’s favourite way to start a morning. It is important to make sure you don’t start driving until you have full visibility, even when you are in a rush, as otherwise the chance of accidents is far greater and could result in you spending money to repair your car, rather than spending 10 minutes clearing the ice in the first place. Make sure you have a scraper and plenty of de-icer in your car ready, which will make the job of clearing the ice much easier. Also, use your AC or blowers to speed up the demisting inside the car.
Unsurprisingly, flat batteries are the most common reason that drivers need breakdown assistance within the winter (which is something you should consider purchasing if you are planning to do a lot of long journeys over winter). Cold weather makes it harder for your engine to turn over, as well as this, you will be using your heaters and lights more, and this puts extra strain on your battery. To help counteract this, make sure that you don’t leave your car unused for long periods of time. Your battery is a lot less likely to fail if you make sure there is a regular charge running through it.
If you think that your battery may be coming to the end of its life, it is extra important in the winter to change it for a new one to save the risk of a breakdown.
Anti-freeze is used to prevent your engine and radiators from freezing in the winter. You should check at least once a week during the winter that the levels of the anti-freeze are at the right levels, to prevent potential damage to your car’s engine or radiators, which can be costly to fix. Many car manufacturers fill newer vehicles with longer-lasting anti-freeze which cannot be mixed with traditional solutions. If you are unsure about what fluid to put into your vehicle, call the team at AutoRevive London to check.
4. Oil levels
Along with your weekly car check, you should take a look at your oil levels. If your oil is too low, it can cause significant damage to your engine.
Checking your oil is simple; you use the dipstick, which has two marks which indicate both the maximum and minimum levels the oil should be. If your oil level is in-between them, you are fine. Also, if your oil seems sludgy, again, your car’s engine won’t run efficiently. Drain and replace it as necessary, or call us for an oil change.
5. Windscreen wash
Windscreen wash should be topped up regularly, and to keep a check on it in the winter is even more important, especially when the gritting lorries come out, to ensure you maintain as much visibility as possible whilst driving. Also, it is worth checking whether your windscreen wipers are in good condition and replace them if needed. You can buy ready mixed or concentrated screenwash, which you’ll need to mix with water. Screenwash has a lower freezing temperature than water, so you shouldn’t end up with frozen jets, but it is likely that they may become blocked if there is a very heavy frost.
6. Tyre tread
This is a very important one. Many people leave it far too long to replace their car tyres / van tyres / truck tyres when the tread gets low, and this increases your risk of having a road accident, especially in the winter when conditions are more slippery than usual. The tread acts a tool to disperse water and snow from the roads, and not having enough tread means that you are likely to aquaplane.
Although the legal minimum tyre tread is 1.6mm, we recommend you don’t let them go lower than 2mm before you replace tyres, and around 3mm in the winter to ensure you are getting the best possible performance for the conditions.
7. Tyre pressures
Look after your tyres in the winter, and they will look after you. Tyre pressures are also as important as the tyre tread. Check these at least once a week during the winter; making sure that they reach the manufacturers recommended levels. You will be able to find these in your car’s handbook or on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door.
8. Exterior lights
In the winter, days are shorter, weather is worse and makes the roads less visible. Maintenance of your exterior lights is important to ensure you are as safe as possible when driving in the dark. The salt and dirt from the roads can quickly build up on your car, covering your lights and making it harder for you to see when driving, as well as making you harder to be seen by other drivers. Clean and check your lights regularly, and consider making sure you have extra bulbs in case of a light failure. We see too many cars in the winter with blown headlights or brake lights, and it is dangerous.
9. Interior Maintenance
Is your car your pride and joy? Well, winter can be very harsh to the interior of your car, which isn’t often thought about. Make sure to remove any litter, and clean the inside of your windows, dashboard and door sills regularity to prevent a build-up of dirt.
10. Winter car service
If you feel unsure, or simply don’t have the time to get your car ready for the winter, then you can always ask us here an AutoRevive London to do it for you! Give us a call on 01895 255229 and book your winter service.
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