Money4yourMotors Winter Car Check
by Becky Harrison |
posted 11 October 2019
It’s no secret that the number of breakdowns increase on UK roads during the winter months as the colder weather has an effect on our cars and our driving. With winter approaching you want to feel confident that your car will successfully and safely get you through the harsh season, so we’ve come up with a 5 point winter car check.
It’s thought that half of car problems could be avoided with a regular service. With many garages offering deals and even free checks, make sure to get your car serviced before the winter weather hits.
There are also several things you can do yourself to ensure basic motor maintenance. These include cleaning lights and indicators and making sure they are in good working order, regularly washing your windscreen inside and out and checking for chips in the windscreen and paintwork as ice can worsen these issues very quickly.
The battery is put under a lot of strain during winter as not only must it function in freezing temperatures, but lights and heaters are used more often. The battery should be your first priority when it comes to your car during this season. If you’ve noticed issues over the summer, these will only get worse during winter so have the battery checked and replaced if required.
While the legal minimum required tread depth is 1.6mm, it’s recommended to go for a minimum of 3mm during winter as this gives you much better grip while driving in icy or wet conditions. You could even consider changing to winter tyres which are designed specifically to give you more impact. It’s also worth noting that winter tyres and snow chains are a legal requirement in many countries, so do some research if you plan on driving during a winter trip abroad.
Breakdown survival kit
Use your common sense and put off a journey if you feel uneasy due to bad weather conditions. If you must embark on a journey, drive with caution and according to the conditions. Make sure you know the contact details of your breakdown cover provider and ensure you have enough charge on your mobile phone. With an increased number of accidents and breakdowns during winter you could wait a little longer for recovery. This is where a breakdown kit could come in handy. A torch, blanket, food, water, sensible shoes and a scraper and de-icer could all come in handy.
In many engines the coolant liquid freezes during cold weather and this can lead to an overheated engine and a costly repair bill! It’s possible to avoid this by topping up your antifreeze. Engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, but this becomes diluted over time. Many people top it up with water over the year, rather than antifreeze and the mostly water liquid freeze.