As winter quickly approaches, it’s time to check those essentials to make sure they’re winter proof. When it comes to your car, this is the most important time of the year to prepare for the months ahead. The following tips are designed to keep your car in good health and keep you safe during the winter months.
It’s time to familiarise with the acronym known as “FORCES”. Don’t worry, we haven’t gone mad – let us talk you through it.
F is for Fuel
We know, it’s pretty obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many people forget that during the winter months you’re more likely to be stuck in heavier traffic – which means, you’ll be using up more fuel because of it. Plan ahead, you don’t want to be stuck on the M25 at Christmas with no fuel in the tank.
O is for Oil
At any time of the year, checking your car’s oil is important, but during the winter months, it’s essential. Check your oil level using the car’s dip stick and top-up if necessary. Your car’s handbook will have all the information you need regarding how much oil you should use, as well as what the correct oil to use is. If you don’t know where your car’s handbook is or the whole thing is too overwhelming for you to handle, pop in to your local garage. Remember, if you’re doing it yourself, make sure you replace the cap fully and be careful not to overfill as this will cause more problems.
R is for Rubber
This one is vital for you to keep safe on those roads. Well-maintained tyres will give you traction and grip on icy, wet surfaces. Your car’s recommended tyre pressure will be in your car’s manual or inside the driver’s door.
The legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm for all cars in the UK and Europe. An easy way to check your tyre tread depth if you don’t have a tyre gauge at hand, is to grab a 20 pence coin, place it between the tread depth, and if you can’t see the outer band of the 20p then your tyres are within the legal limit. It is recommended that you check your tyre tread depth every fortnight. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check your wiper blades too. If they’ve seen better days, don’t hesitate to change them. It’s recommended to change wiper blades at least once a year.
C is for Coolant
Let’s start by saying “ONLY CHECK YOUR ENGINE COOLANT WHEN THE ENGINE IS COOL” – if you don’t, you could end up scalding yourself. Right, now that’s out the way, you’re probably wondering what coolant does? It’s pretty simple – coolant (a mixture of water and antifreeze) is pumped around your engine to keep it cool. If your coolant levels drop suddenly, take your car to the garage to get it checked. You should always keep your car’s coolant level between the min/max marks on the side of the tank to avoid any damage to your car.
E is for Electrics
Checking your lights and indicators should be at the top of your priority list. Make sure that all our working correctly, and if they’re not, try replacing the bulbs and fuses if required. Battery problems is one of the top reasons for breakdowns over the winter period so check your car battery health while you’re at it – car batteries need to be replaced every few years (depending on usage).
S is for Screenwash
It’s important to top up your screenwash with a product that is effective down to at least -15 degrees Celsius. Doing so will make sure your windscreen is free of ice and dirt. Always use a proper anti-freeze screenwash to avoid your windscreen freezing up when you’re on the road.
A FEW MORE TIPS
- Always Check Your Lights
- Maintain Your Car Battery
- Stay On Top Of That Tyre Pressure
- Test Your Car Heaters
- Carry Jumper Cables – Just In Case
If you don’t think your vehicle can survive another winter, then reach out to us at LMC Grays, we’ll be more than happy to help you find a vehicle that does. All our vehicles are covered by our LMC Dealer Promise. We give them a full 75-point check, a service, and make sure your new vehicle has a 6-month MOT before driving away. We also offer extended warranties and no deposit used car finance in Essex too. We can even help if you have a bad credit history, and need to explore bad credit car finance too.