Simply said, yes! The cold winter weather can be very hard on your car and make it difficult for driving conditions. But with a bit of planning, you can ensure your car is ready for the winter weather. Below we provide a run-down of essential maintenance tips to help your vehicle enter into spring with the least amount of wear on your engine.
1. Check your oil levels
Check your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick. You should check the oil level once your car is fully warmed up. A cold car will look low on oil. Remember, too much oil can be as bad as too little.
2. Keep your lights clean
Cars get extremely dirty in winter months. So, we recommend important to keep your lights clean – you can just wipe them off. Wipe down your license plate too.
3. Test your battery
A faulty battery is the number one cause of vehicle breakdowns, and the risk of battery failure is greater in cold, wet and icy weather. Aim to change your car’s battery every three years if possible, or sooner if it’s causing you problems in the cold weather.
4. Pay attention to dashboard warning lights
Many people do not know what the warning lights on their dashboard mean – as we demonstrated in a recent street survey. With winter upon us, it would be a good time to get to know what all of these lights mean. And if one appears on your dashboard, get it checked out as soon as possible.
5. Evaluate your tires
Worn tires are dangerous at any time, but especially as stopping distances increase in icy, snowy or wet conditions. Tires need a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm by law, but in winter experts such as the RAC recommended you change tires at 3mm to maintain safe stopping distances. Don’t forget to check you have a roadworthy spare too.
6. Check wiper blades
Check your wipers are in good condition, with no tears or holes, and can clean your windscreen properly. You can give them a wipe with a clean cloth every now and then.
7. Top up antifreeze
Antifreeze stops the water in the engine’s cooling system from freezing, so make sure yours is topped up. Coolant should be changed every 2 – 5 years, depending on the car and the type of coolant required.
8. Check if your car is due a service
A service is usually recommended every 12,000 miles or every 12 months, whichever comes sooner. But every car is different, so check your owner’s handbook for the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule.
9. Check your brakes
Your brakes need to be in tip-top condition, especially in winter. If they squeal, make other noises or generate unusual sensations, get them checked.