Car maintenance and servicing is essential and really shouldn’t be ignored. So many people overlook and delay tyre and car service check ups. With winter on its way, car maintenance is more essential than ever. We always get our checked over at a reputable autocentre or garage and it oftens takes just a few minutes of maintenance to make sure you don’t fall foul of the winter weather conditions. Calmac Car Service Autocentre takes pride in providing excellent car servicing in Northampton if you live in that area.
So what must you remember when it comes to servicing your car, ready for winter? To ensure yourself a safe drive, you really should be making sure your car has all these things in tip top shape.
If your car is due in for a service, make sure you get it done before winter takes its hold. Cold can actually cause a lot of problems for cars which could have been prevented if the owners had taken care of their cars a little more regularly. If it isn’t due for a service, there are still plenty of things you should check to ensure your car is safe to drive. If your car isn’t safe to drive, it will probably need scrapping – have you considered selling your junk car?
The battery should be your first port of call. You don’t want your car battery to go flat – it happened to us before at a petrol garage and we had to call out someone who had jump leads to give us a jump start. In the winter months, batteries are used even more than normal as we are often running the lights more often as it is darker for longer and we are often running the heater more because of cold temperatures. Other things that you really should be checking if you know how to is the brake pads, discs and fluid – make sure your brakes are as fast and responsive as they should be. If you don’t know how, a decent autocentre or garage will check these for you as well as checking your fan belt and alternator to ensure they are tight.
Antifreeze should also be among your car essentials for the winter months. It should really be used throughout the year for your engine coolant but people often top up with water throughout the year which actually dilutes the antifreeze rather than having what should be a mix of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. Make sure you also top up your screen washer with antifreeze too.
Something that should never be ignored all year round is the condition of your tyres but more so in winter. Ensure you are checking for pressure and tread depth – as a driver, you should know the minimum legal amount – but should aim to have more than the legal minimum for better grip. You could also actually get winter tyres fitted if that is something you feel more comfortable with.
Another thing that you should always consider is having a winter breakdown kit in the car, just in case the worst happens. Not only does this include tools and safety essentials but it should also carry some sustenance – some bottles of water and some snacks as you can never be sure how long you may be waiting before you get on the road again. A decent car breakdown kit would have a torch, a hi visibility vest, a shovel in case you need to shovel snow, a blanket for the cold temperatures as the heating won’t be working if you’ve broken down. It should also include extra screenwash and antifreeze just in case and a de-icer and a scraper.
Always make sure you have enough fuel and oil just in case of delays – you may not break down but you could get caught in horrendous winter traffic and you don’t want to be stuck for hours with barely any fuel and worrying about it running out.
It hasn’t happened to me for many years but I’ve been stuck in horrendous traffic before because of the harsh winter weather conditions and whilst we had enough fuel, oil and the car was in tip top shape, we didn’t have any food or drink which wasn’t good! When we finally got near to a shop, the people I was with jumped out and got as much food and drink as they could carry as we didn’t know how long we’d be stuck! It actually once took me eight hours to get home from school one year, thanks to the snow and the traffic that ensued – my school was a twenty minute drive away!
I hope this guide to car safety in the winter helps you – and reminds you of any things you may need doing. Is your car ready for winter?