Checklist to see your car through the winter
The winter months can be a testing time for your car, meaning this is arguably the most vital time of year to carry out good vehicle upkeep practices. With breakdowns a lot more common in the colder months, carrying out winter car maintenance checks could be the difference between keeping your car problem-free, and suffering a preventable malfunction. Have a look through our handy checklist to see how to prepare your car for the coming season.
1) Get your car serviced
If you are due for a service around autumn or winter, get it booked in before the cold weather really hits. If any underlying problems are identified and dealt with before the bad weather, you will greatly reduce the risk of getting caught out by the cold which can easily exacerbate any issues.
2) Check the battery
Winter can be a particularly hard time for your car’s battery so get it checked out to ensure it’s in good condition. Additional strain from the cold weather is only worsened by the extra demand on your battery from increased usage of functions such as the heating and lights.
3) Check tyre condition
Having a good grip on the roads is especially important through the more trying conditions of winter where wet and icy surfaces will be common. Having sufficient tread on your tyres will improve grip, braking distances and handling. 1.6mm of tread depth is the legal minimum but for optimal winter driving safety, depths around 3mm would be preferable. See our tyre services.
4) Check lights
As you will likely be using your lights a lot more in winter, you should make sure that they are all fully functioning. Check your headlights, side lights, fog lights and indicators to ensure they aren’t damaged or have blown bulbs. Keeping them clean will also help improve their effectiveness.
5) Check heater fans
For comfort and safety, you will want your heating system to be fully operational. Your window defroster will be vitally important for clearing your windscreen on those frosty mornings and, let’s face it, no one wants to drive in a freezing car!
To keep your car from costly and serious engine failure, you need to maintain a good balance of antifreeze in your coolant system. Without the antifreeze, the system can become ineffectual and even freeze in cold weather, resulting in your engine overheating and failing.
7) Examine your windscreen and wipers
Give your windscreen a once over to check for any chips which could worsen in the cold, frosty weather. Make sure you pay attention to your windscreen wipers too, replacing them if they are worn or have become brittle. It is also worth adding in some antifreeze to your washer fluid to keep it from freezing.
8) Breakdown cover
To give you peace of mind when on the roads in bitter weather, having comprehensive breakdown cover will be vital. Always keep a hard copy of the number you should call in case of a breakdown in your vehicle, just in case.
9) Keep an emergency kit
Even if you have been careful to give your car the TLC it needs, you should still be prepared in case of an emergency. Having an emergency kit in your car will ensure you will be ready to deal with a breakdown, should you be unlucky. An emergency kit should include items such as: a torch, spare batteries, flares, a camping shovel, a blanket, a first aid kit and water.
10) Know the limits
It can be easy to assume that in this day and age, you should be able to drive whenever you need or want to. However, if the conditions aren’t good, you should think twice about whether you really need to make the journey, avoiding it wherever possible to be on the safe side. In wintry conditions, plan your journeys to cover the safest routes and allow extra time to get where you’re going.
French Car Specialists provides customers across Finchley and North London with high quality repair work, servicing and MOTs. Our team of specialists have particular expertise in French cars but have the training and know-how to complete first class work on all makes and model of vehicle. For a reliable garage with friendly mechanics, give us a call today to see how we can help you.