Getting Your Car Ready for Winter: Our Top Tips
At Queens Park Garage in Bournemouth, we know the damage that a change in the weather can do to cars. Colder and wetter weather generally means that breakdowns are more likely and minor issues can become bigger problems when you least expect.
The good news is there are few bits of maintenance you can do to keep your car in good condition during the winter months.
Here’s our quick guide...
1. Have a Service
At Queens Park Garage, nearly half of the problems in Winter, when it is much colder, can be mitigated by having a late autumn service. It will mean that your car is properly prepped for the icy weather, the tyres are checked, the oil changed, and everything lubricated. That can make a big difference in reducing the potential of car repairs.
2. Battery Check
One part of your car that really is impacted by the winter is the battery. The colder weather means that output is reduced. The nights are also longer which means you tend to use your lights more. If you have an older car, it’s worth checking when you last had the battery replaced. As a general rule of thumb, a car battery needs changing about every five years.
If you’ve had some trouble starting your car in recent times, it may be that you need a new battery and it’s worth checking out.
3. Check Your Tyres
Another important part of the car are the tyres. In the winter, roads are wetter and more slippery. There’s also the potential for ice and snow. If the tread of your tyres is starting to wear, then a change should be done before the colder weather sets in.
- Check the tyres to see there are no nicks or bulges where there shouldn’t be.
- Check the depth of the treads with a 20 pence coin. If you place it in the tread, it should cover the bit that says TWENTY PENCE.
- Finally, check your tyre pressure and inflate where necessary.
4. Top Up With Anti-Freeze
If you have topped up your coolant with water in the summer months, it’s important to add some more anti-freeze before the start of winter. If you’re not sure, you might want to pay a visit to your local garage.
5. Check Windscreen Wipers
These normally get changed at a service but can be worn down by excessive use. First, clean the windscreen inside and out and then check the rubber on the wipers to make sure they are all still intact. If there are nicks or tears, you might want to replace them.
6. Clean All Your Lights
Wet and cold weather will make the outside of your car dirty. It’s important to give the exterior a quick once over before you travel, particularly the lights. Giving them a wipe if they are covered in mud will make sure you are seen at night and in poor visibility conditions.
7. Put Together a breakdown Kit
There’s nothing worse than breaking down during the winter. If you are heading out on long journeys, make sure you have a kit together that should include:
- Food and drink.
- A high visibility vest for night.
- A torch.
- Blanket and warm clothing.
- Shovel and snow/ice grips for your shoes.
- Fully charged mobile/smartphone.
As with most things, being prepared means that you can cope with almost anything that the weather is likely to throw at you. A little maintenance and preparation now will certainly save you a lot of trouble later.