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Car Maintenance Tips for the Winter

During the winter season, some parts of the UK drop below zero, and as a car owner, it’s important to think about how you can protect yourself, as well as your vehicle while driving in extreme weather conditions. Driving in winter puts a lot of strain on your car. That’s why before you head out, it’s best if you can check that everything is working excellently. 

Why Perform Checks?

With a number of simple checks, you can help reduce the chances of your car breaking down. Proper preparation for winter driving will also make it easier for your car, especially when you’re driving in snow and ice. If your car needs some repairs, do your best to get it done immediately. 

Fixing car problems as soon as possible can help a great deal in preventing more expensive repairs during winter. Also, if your car breaks down, the recovery fee is more costly during this season. Getting stranded is already inconvenient. Imagine having to wait while you’re out in the cold. With that being said, here are some car maintenance tips for winter.

Essential Tips for Winter Car Maintenance

At the minimum, perform all regular checks on your car before the winter season comes. This means checking the lights, tyre pressures, coolant level, and oil level. See to it that your car gets serviced as well, especially if it’s been a long time since the last one. This way, an expert auto mechanic can inspect the car and ensure that everything’s working well. 

Don’t forget to check the vehicle for any electrical and mechanical faults. These things could cause your car to break down in the most unexpected time and you wouldn’t want to get stuck out there in the cold. Test all of the vehicle’s systems thoroughly so that you can determine if anything needs immediate attention. 

Check the Car’s Antifreeze

The cooling system of the car should have the right amount of antifreeze, otherwise, the car might fail when the thermometer falls below zero. To perform this check, you can buy an antifreeze tester, and then check the handbook so you’ll know what’s the correct mixture and the type of antifreeze to use. 

You also have the option to go to a local garage and have this check performed by a specialist instead. Of course, the rest of the car’s cooling system should also be tested. Check the water pump, coolant hoses, and radiator for any damage and leaks. 

Proper Care for the Battery

Cold temperatures can damage your car’s battery, especially if you’re not using your vehicle on a regular basis. If you’ve observed that the car doesn’t start immediately at low temperature, that’s a sign that the battery is failing. 

Don’t wait for it to fail completely before taking the car to a local garage. Get the battery replaced as soon as possible. If the battery goes flat after a few days of not driving, you may want to consider buying a trickle charger to prevent this from happening. 

Test the Lights’ Brightness

All of the lights in your car should work well before you head out and drive in winter. Check if the lenses are faded or damaged. If they are, you may buy a scratch repair kit to resolve this issue. It’s also a good idea to have spare bulbs in your vehicle as well so you’re always prepared in case the lights fail. 

If you have an older car, consider upgrading the bulbs to more powerful ones so that they’ll be much brighter. They’ll help a great deal in improving visibility. See to it that the bulbs you choose are compatible with your car though. If you’re not sure, consult your local auto mechanic for the best options. 

Inspect the Brakes

Observe your car for any shakes, squeals, and rattles. The brake pedal shouldn’t be soft as well. If you notice any of these characteristics, it’s an undeniable sign that the braking system of the car needs to be fixed immediately. 

On snowy and icy roads, the stopping distances are greatly increased, so faulty brakes might lead to you losing control of your car and colliding with another vehicle. Prevent car accidents from happening by getting the brakes checked by an expert. 

Change the Tyres

The tyres’ quality and condition can make a lot of difference when it comes to the performance of your car as you’re driving in winter. If the tyres are punctured or the sidewalls are damaged, it will be much more difficult to control your car on icy and snowy roads. 

Check and re-check your tyres thoroughly. If the tread is already low or there are any signs of damage, replace them with high-quality tyres. Don’t risk your safety by trying to save some money on cheaper but low-quality tyres. 

Takeaway

Doing these checks before winter sets in will save you from the inconvenience and misery of being stuck in the middle of nowhere, waiting for help. Do your best to get everything inspected before you head out for winter driving. It’s better to be sure that all parts of your car are working excellently than be sorry later. If you’re unsure what to do, take your car to a local garage so an expert can perform the checks. 

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