Winter Vehicle Maintenance Tips: Everything You Need To Know
With the winter season fast approaching and the average temperature dropping, it’s about time to take a look at your vehicle, ahead of those icy roads and snowy days. Maintaining your vehicle is something you should be doing throughout the year; but with difficult road conditions and the awful dread of breaking down on the way to work, winter time is definitely the most important time to check your vehicle.
In this blog, we’ll run you through the best winter vehicle maintenance tips to get your car prepared for the frosty season. From checking the battery, to ensuring your tyres are in good condition, we’ve got you covered.
The Essentials Vehicle Maintenance Tips
Before we get into the nitty gritty tasks you’ll need to tick off your list this winter, it is also important to think about the standard checks you should be doing throughout the year on your vehicle.
Our top 3 checks to observe before your next drive include:
- Oil levels – Ensure that the oil in your car is marked between the minimum and maximum line on your dipstick. If not, it’s time to get it topped up.
- Windscreen fluid – Have you got enough windscreen fluid to clean your windows? During both summer and winter, your windows can get dirty from grit, spray off the roads and bugs that can all obstruct your view. Ensure you have a sufficient amount of windscreen fluid, or top it up before your next journey.
- Fuel light – It may sound silly, but you can easily be caught out by low fuel. Fill up your fuel and ensure you have plenty to get you from A to B.
If your car is also due for a service, it’s probably the right time to head down to your local garage for a health check and get it booked in.
Are Your Brakes Up To Scratch?
One of the most important things to check this winter is your vehicle’s brakes. Are they up to scratch and working correctly? How about your brake pads, are they worn?
You will need to ensure that all elements of your brakes are working as they should, including your brake pads, brake disks, brake fluid, and brake calipers. Ask yourself the above questions, and if you’re unsure of anything take your vehicle to a professional to look at your brakes for you.
How About Your Tyres?
Keep up to date with your winter vehicle maintenance by also checking your tyres this season. As winter closes in, the roads get a lot icier and you will need your tyres to grip the road a lot more compared to the road conditions in summer.
Make an inspection of your tyres to check for any bulges or general wear and tear as well as checking you have sufficient tyre tread. You can do this by placing a 20p within the main grooves of your tyre and if the outer band is still visible, this typically would mean your tyres are below the legal requirement of 1.6mm. In this scenario, it is recommended that you get your tyre checked and take your vehicle to a professional garage for further guidance.
It is also advised that you check your tyre pressure too, which you can easily top up with air at most petrol stations.
Double Check Your Battery
During the colder months, it is more likely that you may struggle to get the car started. Checking your battery will help prevent any issues and ensure that your vehicle is running exactly how it should.
You may notice your red battery light flickering on your dashboard when you drive or the car generally taking longer to start up when you turn the ignition on, these are all signs that your battery may need to be replaced.
Create A Winter Essentials Kit
In the case of an emergency or breakdown, you’re going to need a reliable essentials kit to keep you safe this winter. You can buy these directly online or in your local shop, or you can simply create one yourself. The best items to have stored in your car include:
- Wind up torch
- Blanket and warm winter clothing
- Warning triangle
- De-icer or ice scraper
- First aid kit
- A phone charger or power bank
If you’re planning a long journey, ensure you have packed plenty of food and water in case of any emergency.
Following these winter vehicle maintenance tips and advice will help you to stay safe this winter and help your car to keep running throughout the colder season. If you’re ever stuck or need a recovery company to help with your broken down vehicle, our team works 24/7, 365 days a year and has a fleet of vehicles fully equipped to help you. Simply call us today on 0870 600 3444 and we will be able to assist you.