While good car maintenance is important year-round, its especially important in winter months where road conditions can become more hazardous and visibility compromised.
Research from recovery firms suggest you’re twice as likely to break down during the winter season than any other time of the year. So, what steps can you take to winterise your vehicle and ensure you avoid breakdowns?
We’ve compiled a practical six step guide to keep you safe this winter. It’s not rocket science, but it does provide some practical measure to keep you motoring when temperatures plummet:
1. Keep Fuelled up:
Keep your washer fluid and your petrol/diesel fully topped up during the winter. Make sure to stop by one of our petrol stations nearest you so you can avoid queues and keep your time out in the cold short! A full tank may prevent accumulated water from freezing inside your fuel pump. Also, it will allow you to run your engine longer and keep you warmer if you do happen to break down.
A full windscreen washer is also very important as heavy rain on dirty roads can necessitate constant window washing to improve visibility. Screen wash has a lower freezing tempeture than water alone, so you shouldn’t end up with frozen washer jets.
2. Check your lights: As winter sets in, daylight hours reduce which impacts visibility. It’s important you remain well illuminated day and night. Make sure your lights are in optimal working order and bulbs are replaced. Its best to keep your lights on throughout the day, especially on dark sunless days. Carry extra bulbs and do try and learn how to replace the bulbs when it’s convenient, so if one blows in the dark, you won’t get caught out.
3. Stay on top of tyre pressure: While tyre pressure monitoring systems were fitted to all cars built after 1 November 2014, many older cars still require the driver to carry out regular checks. Check tyre pressure fortnightly during winter months. Tyre pressure can drop along with the air temperatures, losing up to one pound per square inch with every 10 degree drop in air temperature. Car Manual guides will provide an indication of optimal tyre pressure. Replace your tyres when the tread gets low because worn tyres are much more likely to cause a puncture and your car handles less predictably with underinflated tyres.
4. Check you Oil, Defroster and Heating: Before winter gets into full swing, check your cars defroster and its climate control system to make sure both are working properly. If you’re not sure what to look for, book in a winter service with your mechanic.
5. Ensure your car battery is working: Cold and damp weather can put your cars battery under stain. Cold weather makes it harder for an engine to turn over. If you haven’t charged your battery it could be tired and the additional power drain of heaters, and other electrical devices means it can become quickly under pressure. If in doubt check it out with your mechanic.
6. Pack a survival kit: We’d recommend this to all drivers -whether you tend to travel on urban roads or whether your trip entails country roads. A survival pack should include a warm blanket, a high vis vest, a hazard warning triangle, de-icer and a scraper, a tow rope, wellington boots, drinking water to say hydrated, a portable charger/power bank for mobile phone to call road side assist, a first aid kit, a flashlight, and a shovel. Hopefully you’ll never need to use this, but always be prepared.
Remember stay safe this winter – from all at Certa!
Find our nearest petrol station close to you, or get in touch with us if you have any questions!