For many of us the prospect of driving in icy, frosty and snowy conditions is enough to send shivers down the spine, however, with the right winter car maintenance you can put safety first. Whilst we’re not all professional vehicle mechanics, having a basic understanding of seasonal maintenance will help you avoid inconvenient breakdown and lower the risk of the road traffic accidents that are common in extreme weather.
Take a look at our essential winter car maintenance steps and stay safe on the roads even in the lowest of temperatures.
Always check your tyre tread
Your tyres are an important part of your car, not only do they provide a flexible cushion that absorbs shock but they also create traction to keep your vehicle rooted to the road. As temperatures drop and the weather becomes more extreme, your tyres have a lot more to contend with.
Consider switching your existing tyres to specialist winter tyres, these give you added grip in cooler temperatures, which makes them perfect for driving safely on snow and ice. Whether you opt for winter tyres or choose to stick with your summer or all-season tyres, always make sure that they have at least 3mm of tread. Also, check your tyre pressure every fortnight as the cold can result in significant pressure loss.
Beware of battery failure
The battery is a tough old thing, however, this vital car part still struggles with the cold winter weather. In fact, unplanned battery failure is one of the most common issues behind winter breakdowns. Don’t let your vehicle fall victim to a battery failure, ask your garage to check the health of your battery. Batteries older than five years are particularly vulnerable so consider a replacement battery if it’s on its last legs!
Top up your coolant
Many motorists spare little thought for their car’s antifreeze or coolant supply during the summer months, but in winter this marvellous liquid can be the lifeline your vehicle needs. Check to make sure your antifreeze is up to the recommended level and if it needs to be topped up ask your garage for help to do that.
Prevent winter dazzle
Despite winter’s gloomy reputation, the dazzle created by the low sun can be particularly dangerous, however, with the right preparation you can prevent winter dazzle from putting a dampener on your day. Keep your windscreen pristine and free from damage on both the inside and the outside, and replace damaged wiper blades to ensure easy cleaning on the go.