It’s the most wonderful time of the year they say, it’s a holly jolly Christmas time but is your car saying the same thing? Winter is one of the hardest times of the year for our vehicles as we rely on them more and they require more upkeep. It’s important to prepare your car for the cooler days of the year in case of bad weather conditions – and to avoid a potential breakdown. We’ve put together this article to see if your vehicle is ready for winter. We’ve got advice and you can use this as a winter prep checklist!
Under the bonnet
Checking your engine oil is fairly easy, all you have to do to start is check that you’re parked on level ground and then open the bonnet and remove the dipstick. After this, you should remove any excess oil on it to establish where the minimum and maximum markings are. You should then dip it back in and out of the oil to see how much oil is left. If it’s running low, you should refill it immediately.
You should also check your brake fluid which can be found under the bonnet too. When you’ve found the container, you should give it a gentle shake to see how much is left. The fluid should be between the minimum and maximum markings and if it’s not you should refill it before you start driving. Other things to check once a week or so are your vehicle’s screen wash levels and antifreeze levels. You’ll use these more in the winter as the weather is often icy and wet.
During the winter months, your tyres keep you particularly safe on the road as they help you stay in control of your vehicle. The first thing you should do is check if your tyres are roadworthy but checking their tread depth. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm – you can check this by using a 20p coin and inserting it into the tread of the car tyre. If it meets up with the rim of the coin, the tyres are within the right tread depth.
Checking the sidewall is important too as it indicates what condition your tyres are in. You should look out for cuts or bulges and if you spot any it should be replaced immediately. Another good thing to do is have a spare tyre for emergencies. You should check the condition of it regularly and have the equipment to change it available in your boot.
The winter checklist
These are a list of all the things you should in your vehicle during the winter months of the year. They’ll come in handy when you least expect!
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- A blanket and warm coat, scarf and gloves to keep you warm!
- Shovel to get rid of snow in your driveway
- Ice scraper and de-icer to speed up prepping your car during the cold mornings!
- A torch (with working batteries) to see in the dark
- Snacks, because why wouldn’t you always have snacks available?