Winter is the harshest time of year for your car. You’ll likely be using your headlights and windscreen wipers constantly, having the heating on full blast, regularly de-icing your windows and using brakes more frequently in wet and icy conditions.
For this reason, it’s really important to take good care of your car to stop any potential damage occurring due to the weather conditions, as well as making regular checks to keep yourself safe. Below we have broken down some tips for keeping your car in top shape.
Check your wheels often
It’s important to keep a close eye on your wheels, especially for any punctures or even sneaky slow punctures that could have occurred due to a sharp stone hidden out of sight in the snow. It’s also important to keep an eye on your tread depth, which should be a minimum of 1.6mm. If you have a 20p coin to hand, the outside of it is around that length – if you can see the border of the 20p coin, you should replace your tyres as soon as possible.
It’s also a good idea to check if your wheels are scuffed, damaged or in need of some TLC, especially if you have alloy wheels. Experts such as Alloy Wheel Repair Services can bring them back to life, making them as good as new!
Consider replacing your car if it’s had better days
While it’s important to carry out maintenance to get your car ready for winter, sometimes you just need to know when it’s time to move on. If your car is on its last legs, to the point where you’re concerned about driving it in winter conditions, then you should think about replacing your car. Choosing a reliable car from a reliable manufacturer like Volkswagen cars can give you peace of mind that your car is ready to go this winter. Don’t take a chance if you’re unsure, get your car looked at by a professional or trade it for a new one.
Keep your air conditioning active
You might be thinking, why would I need to use air conditioning in the Winter? But, it is important to keep those vents clear, and will also help with misting to avoid foggy windows.
Keep your screen wash topped up
The effects of dirty rain and constant freezing and thawing of ice can leave a film on your windscreen, meaning you will likely need to use your screen wash to clear it away. As it is being used more, it is likely to need filling up more. If it is not filled up to an adequate level, your windscreen wipers can actually smear more dirt across the window.
There is the risk of it freezing up, too, so regularly checking your levels can help you to spot when this has happened so that you can wait for your engine to heat it up before setting off.
Check your battery often
Cold, damp weather can put a strain on your car’s battery, especially if you’re not using it as much due to COVID restrictions. It can also impact the amount of power it can deliver. You can get a home battery tester to help you with frequent checks.
Keep an emergency kit in your car
Winter is one of the most popular times for breakdowns. The last thing you want is to be stuck out at night in pitch-black, freezing cold weather. It is best practice to keep a safety kit that includes jump starter cables, a warm blanket or coat, a decent torch, a warning triangle, first aid kit, whistle and more in your car boot.
Keep your car clean, inside and out
As we have mentioned before, the amount of dirt that can build up on your car can leave a film over it (leading to those pesky ‘clean me!’ drawings!). The rain or snow on the bottom of your shoes can also cause the carpet to be quite muddy, and as the dirt dries it can crack and make mess. Regular cleaning and hoovering can avoid such buildups.