How to Look After your Car in Winter
It might feel like winter is over once Christmas is out of the way, but the start of the new year is often when the cold snap truly hits. The first few months of the year can see temperatures plummet and an influx of frost, snow and ice before things start to warm up again. The cold weather can spell disaster for many vehicle owners, who not only have to contend with scraping ice off the windscreen each morning, but a potential host of more serious problems. There are some preventative measures you can take however, so read on to find out how you can keep your car running in tip top condition all winter.
Get your car serviced
A yearly MOT is a legal requirement, but it’s a good idea to have your car serviced on top of this, especially in winter. The cold can cause many problems for cars, but a lot can be prevented by regular servicing to catch problems before they escalate. Signs your car is in need of a service include an active engine warning light, strange noises from the engine or exhaust, and vibrating or pulling under the breaks.
Check the tires
Good tyre grip becomes even more essential during the winter months, when icy roads can make driving conditions much more hazardous. Check your tyres pressure and tread depth; many mechanics and patrolman recommended a minimum tread depth of 3mm in winter (compared to the legal minimum of 1.6mm), for better grip.
Carry a breakdown kit
It’s a good idea to carry a basic ‘breakdown’ kit all year round, but especially during the winter months. It could include items such as a torch, blanket, ice scraper, phone charger, antifreeze and some food and drink supplies. If you live further north or encounter a lot of snow and ice then a shovel and snow grips for your shoes can be invaluable as well.
Fully functioning lights are essential when daylight is in short supply and there’s often a lot more fog and mist about. Check all lights, indicators and rear reflectors for any signs of dirt, cracked lenses or faulty bulbs, and make sure your full beam headlights and fog indicators are up to scratch too.
Check the battery
Making sure the battery is fully functioning is a top priority during the cold snap, as freezing temperatures and an increased use of lights and heating can put it under extra strain. Average battery life is around 5 years, so if you know your battery is around that age, or you’re having problems starting the car, then get the battery checked and replaced as soon as possible.
If you live in St Albans and want to keep your car in great condition during these cold months, give St Albans Car Clinic a call. We provide professional and affordable MOTs, servicing, tyre replacement, fault diagnosis and more. To find out more about our range of services and repairs on offer, give us a call or visit the website.