From testing your battery to cleaning your windscreen wipers, here are five of the most important winter car maintenance tips we think you should know.
The dark, freezing cold nights have finally made an appearance, which can only mean one thing: winter is here.
The frosty temperatures can really take a toll on your vehicle, and difficult driving conditions are bound to catch you off guard, but with a few routine checks, your motor can make it through the worst of the wintry weather.
In this post, our experts at CJ Auto Service share some of our top car maintenance tips for the winter season.
1. Get your car serviced
A service is usually recommended every 12,000 miles or 12 months – whichever comes first – and while they’re important all year round, winter makes it a bit more urgent.
If your car is due to go in for a service soon, or you just want to make sure that everything is in check and ready for the colder weather, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later.
Winter is a busy time for garages across the country, so make sure to book an appointment well in advance to avoid disappointment.
2. Check your oil levels
The last thing you need in the depths of winter is to be stuck on the side of the road because you’ve broken down.
Checking your oil levels could help prevent this from happening, so it should be high on your list of car care priorities this winter.
To check your oil level, you should:
- Switch the engine on and allow time for it to warm up – turning it off when it’s fully warm.
- Pop the bonnet.
- Locate the dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert.
- Make sure the level sits between the minimum and maximum mark and top up as necessary.
If you’re unsure of what type of oil to use, or you’re struggling to locate your car’s dipstick, you should be able to find all the information you need in your vehicle’s handbook.
3. Top up your engine coolant with anti-freeze
As temperatures plummet, it’s increasingly important to make sure your car is topped up with anti-freeze.
Anti-freeze stops the water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing, and it should be changed every 2-5 years depending on your car and the type of coolant it needs.
You should make sure you have a 50/50 mix of coolant and anti-freeze to avoid engine damage and costly repairs.
4. Test your battery
According to Admiral, faulty batteries are one of the leading causes of vehicle breakdowns in the UK.
The risk of battery failure becomes even greater in winter, thanks again to the cold, wet, and icy weather.
Car batteries can suffer from a decreased output as a result of the frosty temperatures, and the increased use of the lights, heater, and blower places your battery under additional strain.
Typically, car batteries have an effective working life of about five years, and if yours is already on its way out, you should seriously consider getting yours checked by a professional and replaced if necessary.
5. Clean your lights, windscreen, and wipers
Your car can get pretty dirty in winter, so it’s essential – now more than ever – to keep it clean.
Pay close attention to your lights, windscreen, and wipers.
Making sure these components are in good nick is a crucial part of driving safely, so if you notice them looking a bit grubby, wipe them over and make sure you’re topped up on screenwash fluid.
Whilst you’re at it, give your number plates a clean, too – or you could face a fine for driving around with illegible registration plates.
Finally, check for any chips and cracks in your windscreen, as they can grow in cold weather and cost you a fortune to repair or replace.
Need more advice?
There’s no denying how rough winter can be on your vehicle, which is why our mechanics here at CJ Auto are here to help you keep everything in check.
Whether you need more advice on how to care for your car or want to book in with us for your annual service, you’re more than welcome to get in touch with us.