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Is your car ready for winter?

As you brace yourself for cold weather, it’s important to make sure that your car is going to be able to handle the elements and keep you and your passengers safe. It could be useful in the winter to use technology or look for a weather station here that might be able to help you keep track of the weather conditions. This is because winter is often full of dangerous driving conditions.

When driving in cold weather, drivers are often faced with a whole range of driving conditions, so it is important that you do some checks before setting off. But what should you be checking?

Appropriate Parking

It is one of the essential requirements to ensure your car is safe from extreme weather conditions during winter. While most people choose to park their vehicles out in the open due to convenience, it can be beneficial to park your car in an enclosed garage in colder months. You can easily maintain the parking temperature at night so that your car won’t be freezing cold the next morning. Moreover, you won’t have to scrap off snow from your car and your vehicle won’t be buried deep in a few inches of snow.

When parking your car in the garage, you may have to make it ready for use, especially if you don’t regularly use the space. You can consider repairing or reinstalling Garage Flooring, adding a few storage cabinets, and stocking up on engine oil, brake fluid, coolant, a toolkit, jack and torque wrench, etc. This can help you to maintain your car throughout the winter without the vehicle breaking down.

Battery

For older cars winter can be a tough time for your battery, and according to AXA batteries were the main cause of winter breakdowns in 2016-2017. It may be worth giving your battery a full recharge if it hasn’t been driven in a while or has had some problems before.

If you suspect that it is well past its prime, then new batteries are relatively cheap to buy and easy to fit for extra peace of mind.

Tyres:

Whilst most drivers fear ice and snow in the winter months, it’s important to remember that wet conditions caused by rain and melting ice or snow can be just as hazardous.

It is important in all conditions that your tyres have plenty of grip, so you should be checking that your tread isn’t too low, that your tyre pressure is correct and that there’s no bulging or damage to your tyres. It’s a good idea to get in to the habit of checking your tyres every week, your tyre pressure can be found in your car’s user manual and tyre tread should always be above 1.6mm.

Coolant/Antifreeze Level:

The coolant/antifreeze in your car is designed to protect your engine regardless of the weather conditions, so it’s important to check that you’ve got enough. When checking your coolant/antifreeze level, it should be within the min and max marker on the reservoir, but if you are unsure your local garage will be able to check this easily for you.

Screen Wash:

Screen wash is a must have for all weathers, keeping your front and rear windows clear from dirt and rainfall. In the winter you will be using screen wash at a more rapid rate due to the extra spray from the roads which is often made up of mud and salt from gritting. When topping up screen wash in the winter, choose one that will work at low temperatures so that it doesn’t freeze in the reservoir.

Wiper Blades:

With all the extra spray, your wiper blades will get a good workout during winter. To maintain a good level of visibility at all times you should check your wiper blades for signs of wear and tear and give them a clean regularly to give them the best chance of clearing your windscreen.

Lights

Whilst many of us will use our lights all year round and at various points in the day, in winter they are used more often due to the change in how much daylight we are getting. If you feel that your car’s lights are dim or if they are flickering, it may be a good idea to take it to an auto shop in Lakewood or anywhere in your locality.

As well as checking the lights you rely on most often, like your full and dipped beams, it’s important to check all the other bulbs in your car as these are vital for letting other drivers know what your movements are. Fog lights should also be checked for the instances that you will need the extra visibility.

Oil and fuel

When driving in winter, always try to keep your fuel above the average size of the tank. Not only will you hopefully have enough fuel to keep your car warm or make it to a petrol station if you can’t make it to your destination, but keeping your tank topped up will also lessen the strain on your fuel pump and fuel lines.

When fuel gets low your fuel pump can come under more strain, which can cause early failure. Plus, in cold weather condensation in the tank can also freeze and cause issues with the fuel pump.

The engine oil in your car is important for helping your car run efficiently, and without it you are at risk of breaking down. So this should be checked before setting off on a long journey.

Keeping your car maintained during winter is important to avoid breaking down, but by checking these things you have a greater chance of staying warm and safe during the cold weather.