With the clocks going back, it is a sure sign that we should be making those essential winter checks on our car ready for winter driving.
At Motorline, in East Sussex, we often get those phone calls where people have been caught out, and it is much better not to take your car for granted and make sure it is safe and prepared for those cold morning starts and slippery roads.
We thought we would put together a few tips which you can either run through yourself or, just phone us up and ask about our winter service checks.
1. Check the oil
Yes, we know that this is something that has been recommended since the dawn of time, but it is worth following. If your oil is sludgy, or the level is low, your car will not run efficiently. Top it up, with the right type of oil for your vehicle of course, or drain and replace the oil. If you can’t do this, we can do a simple oil change for you and your car will reap the benefits.
2. Washer fluid
An easy thing to forget as you use your wipers more frequently in the winter. Spray and salt from the roads mean visibility is often impaired so always check your fluid and keep your washer jets free with a purpose-made screenwash that won’t freeze when temperatures drop.
3. Tyre check
One thing that we all know is that our roads will be slippery. Make sure you have a good amount of tread on your tyres to keep you, and your family, safe on the road. The recommended minimum depth is 3mm (which is almost twice the legal minimum of 1.6 mm). Consider also, if you have a job that means you need to be out at all times and, in all weathers, consider buying winter tyres to be on the safe side.
4. Check the battery
Batteries suffer from cold temperatures and increased use of lights, heater and blowers, which put your car battery under extra strain. A car battery generally has a life span of 5 years, therefore, at the very least, if your car is struggling to start – don’t hesitate, pop in and we will check it over for you to make sure it is the battery that is causing you starting problems.
5. Top up your engine coolant with antifreeze
Your engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, but it becomes diluted over time. Some car systems have closed systems but those that don’t are known to have been topped up with just water during the year and then, come winter and freezing temperatures, the radiator or pipes freeze causing a great deal of damage and a hefty repair bill.
6. Keep your lights clean
Something as simple as cleaning your lights and reflectors can make such a difference in the winter. Make sure there are no cracked lenses or blown bulbs – ensure you can see in all conditions including fog and that you can also be seen by others.
7. Brakes and brake fluid
If you haven’t had new brake pads or discs for a couple of years, it might be worth checking these out to ensure you can brake quickly and responsively if you need to. If you have a little bit of motoring knowledge, you can do this yourself, but most people feel happier to let us do this for them.
Be safe this winter rather than sorry – just ring us on 01273 85899 to book your car in for a service or winter car check.