Driving during the winter places additional strain on your car. Failing to take the correct steps can mean suffering from low visibility, losing control of the vehicle, or being stuck in the middle of nowhere without the proper gear, and, in any case, it’s best to fix something now while the work will be inexpensive rather than waiting for Jack Frost to make the problem worse.
Here are just 10 winter maintenance tips for you to follow.
- Check the Basics
At a minimum, take your car in for a once-over as winter is kicking off. The oil and coolant levels, tyre pressures, and lights can be quickly checked by a professional to make sure everything’s in good order.
- Keep an Eye on Antifreeze Levels
Without enough antifreeze, your cooling system might fail when the temperatures start to drop. Keep checking antifreeze levels, and take the time to frequently inspect the radiator, hoses, and pump for signs of damage.
- Maintain the Battery
Cold temperatures take their toll on batteries, especially if you’re not an everyday driver. If you have any doubts, get it tested by a local dealer or garage.
- Keep the Lights Bright
Visibility becomes so much more important during the winter. The bulbs in older cars can benefit from an upgrade, and any scratches to the lenses should be dealt with immediately.
- Watch Your Brakes
Any rattles, shakes, or softness when you hit the brakes, as well as an increase in stopping distance, indicate that your braking system might need some TLC.
- Check the Tyres
Worn tyres suffer from low traction, and low temperatures can affect the interior pressure. Check them over, and keep an eye on the low-pressure warning light.
- Maintain Visibility
Replace wipers in poor condition, top up your washer fluid, and carry some cleaner and wipes to clear glass and side mirrors.
- Keep Things Lubricated
The seals, locks and hinges should be well lubricated; colder temperatures can cause things to stick.
- Bring a Survival Kit
Spare bulbs, jump leads, tow strap, high-vis vest, a blanket, phone charger, and some food and water should all be carried. During heavy snowfall, take some planks, old carpet tiles, and a shovel in case you get stuck.
- Consider Snow Chains, Socks or Mats
If you live somewhere that experiences high snowdrifts on a regular basis, a set of snow chains, socks, or mats can be a thoroughly good idea.