Preparing your vehicle for winter is important as it can help you avoid an unnecessary breakdown. Winter is one of the most difficult seasons of the year, we rely on our cars more and there are more precautions you have to take. From icy roads to frozen windscreens – it can all be a bit tedious and time-consuming. However, if you do a few simple checks and have a few things tucked away in your boot you can avoid car drama! Follow this advice for a hassle-free Christmas holiday!
A lot of us forget about our car tyres and just assume that they’re always okay. However, they go through a lot so it’s important to check them regularly. The first thing you should check is their tread depth, it should be at least 1.6 mm to meet legal requirements. You can check this using a 20p coin – all you have to do is insert the coin into the tread and if it lines up with the rim of the coin then your tyres are roadworthy. Another thing to check is the sidewall of your tyres as they can indicate the overall condition of them. Look out for any bulges or cuts in your tyres. Get your tyres changed as soon as you can if you spot one. We also recommend having a spare tyre and the right equipment to change it – this could save you a lot of time, hassle and money if you get a flat tyre!
It can be quite intimidating to open up your car bonnet. But checking a few basic things could help you out over winter. One thing you can check easily is your engine oil levels. All you have to do is pull out the dipstick and remove any excess oil from it. You should then find the ‘min’ and ‘max’ markings and dip it in and out of the oil again. This will be an indication of how much oil is left and if it’s running low you should change it as soon as you can. The brake fluid should also be checked by locating the container and giving it a gentle shake. You should be able to see whether or not the fluid is between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ markings. Re-fill it if the level is low. It’s also important to check your screen wash and antifreeze levels occasionally as you’ll use them quite a lot over the winter months.
Something that often gets overlooked are chips and cracks in your windscreen. However, if you spot one you should get it fixed as soon as you can. Doing this will prevent any further damage from happening and can save you money. (Fun fact: Some car insurers will pay for this for you!) Another thing you should do is check your vehicle’s lights. Ensure you are parked securely and off the road. You can then turn all the lights on including the headlights, hazard lights, reverse lights and brake lights. Walk around the car to make sure they’re all working.
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