Car tips for the winter months
As the cold weather arrives, it is advisable to spend a bit of time going over your car to check that everything is as it should be. This guide will show you how to get your car ready for winter. We will cover all the winter car checks, from your tyres to lights, and give you advice on items you should keep in your car.
Check you have plenty of fuel in the tank before your journey. For winter driving, you need to consider time that you may be sitting idle in traffic and need the engine for heat, as well enough fuel for the actual journey.
One in three cars checked by the RAC are dangerously low on oil. This can cause a breakdown and lead to engine damage. Check your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on the dipstick and top up if necessary.
The tyres are the car’s only connection to the road, so it is vital that they are in good condition and correctly inflated. Check that you have the correct tyre pressures (the owner’s handbook will contain correct inflation levels). There is no need for specific winter tyres.
Check your tyres for general wear and tear, splits, bulges or cracks and most importantly tread depth. The minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, but during the winter months it is advisable to have around 3mm on your tyres to help with traction and grip.
Check your car’s engine coolant level. Coolant is essential to keep your car engine’s cooling system from freezing in extreme cold and overheating if the engine is running for long periods of time. Only check the coolant levels when the engine is cold and look in your handbook for the correct coolant and mix to use should you need to top it up.
It is essential for you to see and be seen, especially during the dark and possibly foggy evenings. Walk around your car to check all lights are working including brake lights and fog lights. Additionally, lights get extremely dirty during the winter so clean them on a regular basis.
The RAC deals with over 400,000 battery-related faults every winter. Wet and ice conditions play havoc with car electrics. Batteries have to work that much harder in cold conditions so if yours is over four years old it may be getting to the end of its life.
When your engine is cold, check the battery terminals under the bonnet are clean and tight. If your car struggles to start and the engine ‘labours’ is the cold when you turn the key, you should get it checked by a garage.
Wiper blades are not everlasting and will need replacing from time-to-time, so check that they are effective at clearing the screen, if they have any splits and cracks, and replace if necessary.
Screen wash is extra important in the winter because there is much more muck on the roads. Check your screen wash level and always top up with a quality screen wash additive or pre-mix which is effective down to at least -15 degrees Celsius.
Winter car essentials
Ice scraper and de-icer – You must keep your front and rear windscreen clear of snow and ice before driving. An ice scraper is most effective, while a can or spray bottle of de-icer speeds up the process.
Torch and spare batteries – Being stuck by the side of a dark road is both frightening and dangerous. A large torch plus spare batteries or a wind-up torch should be among your winter car essentials.
Warm coat and blanket – When driving, it is often more comfortable without a thick winter coat, but you should still travel with one in the car. Take additional warm clothes if you are going on a long journey. A breakdown could mean a long wait without heat, so it is sensible to have something warm to wrap up in for both you and your passengers.
Finally, always remember to take out breakdown cover and always have a car charger for your mobile phone so you can call for help.
Work with Great Park Homecare
If you own a car, have the right to work in Windsor, UK, and interested in a rewarding role in community care, we can give you the freedom to work part-time, full time, just evenings or just weekends. This flexibility helps boost job satisfaction within our team and the job can be flexed around individual staff lifestyles and commitments.
All we ask is that you have access to a vehicle and can drive, to visit clients’ homes. No care experience is necessary since full training is provided in conjunction with a £200 Onboarding Bonus plus super benefits (e.g. sick pay, pension etc). Call us for an instant interview.
Please call 01753 369088 or visit our website www.greatparkhomecare.com for more information on our services.
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