Ensure your car survives the winter with our winter car care tips writes Hannah Gordon
I think most of you will join me in dreading winter, the cold mornings and constant eating trying to produce a layer of fat worthy to keep the bitterest arctic winds from reaching my internal organs is really not my idea of fun. But there are a few tips which will help keep you and your car safe if you decide to venture out.
1. Fluid Levels
One of the most important fluids in winter is your Anti-freeze, it circulates around the engine keeping it cool but it needs to have the correct water and Anti-freeze mixture to make sure it doesn’t freeze within the pipes. Your antifreeze can be either red or blue, if you are unsure of location or fluid strength then consult your vehicle handbook or go and see your local garage who should be able to test the strength on the spot. It’s also important to top up the screen wash, with all the salt and grit on the roads you need to keep washing the screen.
Often overlooked, but a vital part of the car especially in winter. Diesel cars require a more powerful battery to start. If the battery has a condition indicator then this should be green when you look into it, if its gone clear it shows that the battery will need changing. Consult a local garage who can do a battery check for you.
3. Wiper blades
Its imperative that you can see out of the front and rear screen, you’ve checked that you have enough screen wash now you should check the condition of your wipers. Have a look and see that the rubber is intact and not hanging off, check that they are wiping the whole area of the screen and not making any squeaking noises.
You may need someone to help you but its vital that you can see and be seen on the road, check all the lights included headlights, fog lights and indicators. With the dark mornings and evenings you need to be checking your lights every week, the amount of people I see on the roads with bulbs out!
It’s essential that you check the condition of your tyres, if you are not sure if you have enough tread on them then tyres come with wear bar indicators but you can also use a 20 pence piece, use the border of the coin and if you can see part of the border whilst it’s inserted into the tread then the tyres need changing. Make sure you check all the way across the tread and check fronts and rears. Make sure that the tyre pressures are correct to the manufacturer specifications and look for any cuts in the tyre walls.
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8th December, 2018