October 19, 2020 at 10:27 AM
Wintery conditions can catch you by surprise and create extra dangers on the roads. Plummeting temperatures and poor weather mean the number of breakdowns is likely to increase throughout the winter months.
Driving puts an increasing strain on both you and your car, so it’s important to make sure that everything is in working order. A few simple checks can greatly reduce the chance of a breakdown as well as making your road trips easier and less stressful, should you drive on ice or snow.
Fixing something that’s relatively inexpensive now, after all, might help you avoid a much more costly failure in the colder months. This will also prevent you from having to pay a huge recovery fee after becoming stranded somewhere.
So before winter weather takes hold, Leeway Motor Company has put together our top tips for basic motor maintenance that should see you through to the Spring!
Does Your Car Need A Service?
A service is usually recommended every 12,000 miles or every 12 months but every car is different, so check the handbook for the manufacturer's recommended service schedule. It can take a couple of weeks sometimes to get into a garage so make sure you plan ahead of time.
Check Oil Levels
Check your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick. The RAC has said that one in three vehicles they attend to are dangerously low on oil, which can sometimes lead to a breakdown or engine damage.
Always check your oil levels once your car is fully warmed up as a cold car will always look low on oil, which can lead to a breakdown or engine damage which could end up being really costly. It is also important to remember, too much oil can be as bad as too little.
Keep Your Lights Clean
Cars get extremely dirty in the winter, this can because of salt on the roads and extreme weather conditions. So, because of this, it is extremely important to keep your lights clean. As well as this, you should also keep your number plate clean as you can be fined if you are driving with an unrecognisable number plate.
Test Your Battery
According to the RAC, a flat or faulty battery is the number one cause of vehicle breakdowns and the risk of battery failure is a lot greater during cold, wet and icy weather. You should aim to charge your battery every three years if possible or sooner if it is causing you problems in the colder weather.
Pay Attention To Dashboard Warning Light
Did you know that a lot of people don’t know what their warning lights mean - so with the colder months closing in on us, now is the perfect time to get to know what all these lights mean and if one appears on your dashboard, get it checked out as soon as possible.
Assess Your Tyres
This one is imperative - Worn tyres are dangerous at any time but in the winter when the roads are slippery anyway, it becomes even more important. By law, your tyres should have a tread depth of 1.6mm but in the winter it is recommended to have 3mm to maintain safe stopping distances.
Check Your Brakes
Your brakes need to be in tip-top shape during the winter months. If they make an unusual noise and generate an unusual sensation it is best to get them checked as soon as possible.
Check Wiper Blades & Top Up on Windscreen Wash
Whilst doing your checks, make sure that your wipers are in good condition and there are no holes or tears in them. You will also need to make sure you have plenty of washer fluid too! It’s surprising how often you will need it during the winter. Not only is not having it dangerous but it’s also illegal.
Top Up Engine Coolant With Antifreeze
Engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Antifreeze stops the water in your engine’s cooling system freezing over - so it’s imperative to make sure it is topped up.
Prepare For Longer Journeys
Before setting off on long journeys, make sure you prepare for them! This usually means checking the weather forecast, travel news and the safest routes. You should always allow yourself extra time to avoid rushing.
The Bare Essentials
Last but not least, make sure you have the bare essentials! These usually include:
Ice scraper and de-icer
Warm clothing and a blanket
A torch and batteries
Mobile phone and charger
Having The Perfect Car This Winter
Leeway Motor Company offers some of the best used cars in Newport - With many years of experience in second-hand car sales. If you would like to get a new car this Autumn ready for the harsh winter months, the team at Leeway Motor Company can help - Call us today on 01633 271 555 for more information on the cars we have available at our showroom today!