With the weather taking an extreme turn recently, car maintenance is all the more important to ensuring safety on the roads this winter. Our last blog detailed some advice for driving safely in the snow, but this time we will be helping you ensure your car is running properly with the excess stress of the cold weather.
The battery of your vehicle should be the first priority. With cold temperatures and the increased use of lights and heaters, the battery will be under increased strain. It’s definitely worth checking everything is in order or even investing in jump leads and a battery charger or a ‘battery booster’. A top tip for reducing this strain, though, is to leave the ignition on for around five seconds before starting. In doing this, the battery will have time to perform diagnostics and will be under less stress at startup.
A service is key for car maintenance, and if your car is due for a service during the winter months, we recommend getting this done before it begins to get cold. Having a full service performed prior to winter hitting will locate any issues that need to be addressed before they become far worse with the cold weather. What’s more, garages can often offer winter service discounts, so it could be a money-saver in the long run.
As discussed in the aforementioned ‘winter driving tips’ blog, tyres are an essential car maintenance check for the winter months as maintaining condition and optimal operation is important for steering and braking in poor road conditions.
We recommend that your tyre tread depth remains above 3mm, which is higher than the 1.6mm legal minimum but will provide maximum grip. Another thing to consider is to install winter tyres, which are designed for winter-driving with different tread patterns and a softer, more flexible rubber compound.
As a matter of preparation, storing a ‘winter breakdown kit’ in your car will be very useful if something goes wrong. This should include things like a shovel, a torch, a blanket and warm clothes, a hi-visibility vest/jacket, food and drink and a mobile phone charger. This way, you will be prepared to walk to safety if needs be, or stay warm and safe if you get stuck.
Other Things to Consider
Of course, we have not covered everything you should consider with winter car maintenance. A few additional tips are to check your breakdown cover, check the lights of your car are clean and working and to check the engine coolant/antifreeze is the correct 50/50 mixture of water and antifreeze. You should also check the oil, tyre pressure, and other standard vehicle checks more frequently than usual: weekly is ideal.
Hopefully, you will take our considerations onboard, and they will help maintain the safety and efficiency of your car as the weather begins to take its toll.
Here at Longbridge Tyres, we provide new and performance tyres from a range of reputable brands. So, if you’re looking for new tyres this winter, then please get in touch with us. You can call us on 0121 457 7582 or fill out our contact form.