Winter Car Maintenance.
Myself and like many other people hate getting up in the morning when its still dark and cold outside. The ice and cold is just as tough on your car. If not worse as they are outside 24hours a day! Therefore at this time of the year there are more breakdowns than any other. Below are a few winter car maintenance tips which will help prevent a breakdown from happening.
Leave your home 5 minutes earlier to give yourself time to clear ice from your windscreen. Stock up on de-icer and a scraper. Air conditioning can help with clearing mist and ice fast from your cars windows.
Windscreen wash liquid should be topped up regularly with the appropriate concentration. Wiper blades usually have a life expectancy of around a year.If they are older or torn then replace them. Don’t use them on ice as this will damage the blade.
On the occasion that it does snow it is advisable to clear snow from your bonnet, headlights and rear light so that other road users can see you and increase your own visibility.
Anti-freeze comes in a number of different colours each specific for different types of engines. You should regularly make sure your vehicle’s anti-freeze levels are between the max and min marks. Otherwise this could cause damage to your engine. Also check your manual first or dealer for the recommended anti-freeze for your engine.
Flat batteries are one of the most frequent reasons for cars to fail to start. Car batteries now only last for around 5 – 6 years. It is therefore recommended that if your battery is older to replace before winter arrives. Eventually as the battery is continually charged each cell within the battery fails providing the starter motor with less power. When the battery gets to the end of its life and the weather becomes colder the starter motor requires more power to start the engine which the battery is unable to provide.
Winter tyres have been developed to work in temperatures below 7 Degrees Celsius. Most of the UK between December and February has an average temperature below 7C. Winter Tyres have significant safety advantages in wet and icy conditions. They considerably cut breaking distances and increase stability and steering of your car. At just 20mph winter tyres can stop at 57m compared with 68m average for summer tyres.
Any tyre which you decide to use, be it summer or winter tyres should be above the legal limit of 1.6mm. The AA recommend 2mm and preferably 3mm for the winter. The deeper the tread the more water and snow from the ground the tyre can disperse preventing aquaplaning.
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