Taking good care of your car is essential all through the year, but this is never truer than in the cold winter months. Heavy rain, winds, ice, snow, and more reduced visibility are all significant factors that contribute to a massive rise in the number of road traffic accidents that occur during the winter.
Maintaining your car during the winter months is therefore vital when it comes to preventing weather-related road traffic accidents from occurring. Not only is winter car maintenance significant from a safety point of view, but taking better care of your car will also provide you with the additional benefit of improved fuel consumption.
Maintaining Your Tires
Your car tires should have adequate tread to grip the road. You should always ensure that you have safe tires to drive as a tire that is unable to grip may skid on wet roads, ice, or snow.
All tires will have tread wear indicators, and you should routinely be checking these, especially during the winter months. Tread indicators are bars that are made of hard rubber that lay sideways across the tread. Once the tread is flush with these indicators (at 1.6 mm), it is time to change your tire.
Check your tire walls for signs of cracks. When the rubber starts to deteriorate, it is time to change your tires.
You will also need to make sure that your car tires are also inflated to the correct PSI. You can usually find this information displayed inside the bodywork of your car door. Underinflated and overinflated tires can be hazardous as they will not provide your car with the correct grip on the road and are more likely to burst or get a puncture.
During the winter months, your car windscreen will be exposed to all of the elements. It will ice up, and it will get mucky. When roads have been gritted, or during storms, roads can often become very dirty places. All of this muck will find its way back onto your windscreen, affecting your visibility.
Top your screenwash up regularly. Pay attention to the mixture that you use, and ensure it is strong enough for use in the winter.
Oil, Coolant, And General Servicing
Keeping your oil topped up is an all-year-round necessity, without enough oil, your engine may seize up. Be sure and keep a bottle of the right oil for your car handy at all times, and check your oil levels throughout the colder months.
Your coolant may only need topping up every few years. However, you won’t know unless you check. Check the coolant reservoir and top up with antifreeze or a mixture of antifreeze and distilled water.
Taking your car to the garage for a service is an excellent idea in the winter. They will be able to check and replace all of your lights and windscreen wipers too, as well as checking over your battery which may also be affected by the colder weather.