As evenings begin to get darker earlier and the weather gets colder, roads can be hazardous and we need to be confident that our vehicles are safe and reliable for the season.
Every year, 24% of weather-related vehicle accidents occur during bad weather, including snow, sleet or ice. It is imperative that you understand the key issue areas to keep an eye on, so we've given you some advice on your winter car service.
Even if you feel as though your car is running perfectly fine, it is always a good idea to get a Winter Check before you go into the colder months, as there can be problem areas that you may not be aware of.
What is included in a winter car check?
Winter Checks concentrate on six main areas of the vehicle, these are:
- Tyre Inspection
- Battery Test
- Coolant & Antifreeze Top-up
- Windscreen Wipers Inspection
- Lights Assessment
- Oil Level Replenishment
It is essential to ensure that your tyres are fully prepared for the possible change in terrain as roads can become icy and wet over the colder months.
During a Winter Check, tyre tread depth and pressure will be inspected to establish if they are safe to drive on. There is the option to perhaps switch to winter tyres for better grip and cornering ability - your technician will advise you on the best course of action.
The last thing anyone wants to do is be caught out with problems on their car battery in winter. A Winter Check will ensure your battery is protected, charged and secured.
Coolant and Antifreeze Top-Ups
Engine-related breakdowns are commonly related to issues with a vehicle's cooling system. A Winter Check will ensure the cooling system in your vehicle is optimal and your antifreeze will be checked and refilled if necessary.
Antifreeze is added to the water in a vehicle's radiator to prevent it from seizing up and causing any unwanted issues. Frozen water expands and can split engine hoses and pipes, causing leaks and reducing cooling efficiency. A winter vehicle check will prevent this for you.
Windscreen Wiper Check
Windscreen wipers are extremely important in the winter as the weather can change unexpectedly and it is imperative to have perfect vision whilst driving. During a Winter Check, the condition of your windshield wipers will be inspected to make sure they are suitable for screen clearing. At the same time, your wiper fluid level will be checked and topped up if necessary.
A car light assessment will ensure all lights are working to the correct standard. There are a lot less hours of sunlight in the winter and you may find yourself driving in fog, meaning front and rear lights are used more. Driving with broken lights is both illegal and dangerous, so this is a necessary precaution to take.
Oil Level Replenishment
Too little or too much oil in a vehicle can cause major engine problems. To avoid breakdowns in the cold months, it is important to get this checked and find the best engine oil for winter in your car. In some instances, oil may need to be thinner during winter to allow the vehicle to run more smoothly - this is something your technician will advise you on.
Free Vehicle Health Check
A winter Vehicle Health Check at your nearest Car Store is the best way to ensure that your car is prepared for the colder months. Snow and ice can be very dangerous, but we can give your car the once over to make sure it's fighting fit for the coming winter.
Winter Checks are completely free at any Car Store near you. If you'd like to enquire about a Winter Health Check, call us on 03301 732 597 or book an appointment online.