With Winter having just passed by us (though the snow is still heavy in some states!), you probably had a few problems with your car. How do you prevent them happening again? Well, we’ve written this blog post to help you out so you don’t have to suffer with frozen glass, skidding tyres or radiator problems next year!
Here are a few things to check in the Fall months, before the frost takes in:
1) Check your car battery
This should be your first port of call. Flat batteries are the biggest cause of winter breakdowns on the road. Whether you’re a regular driver, or you’re a famous soccer player like Paul Hartley here, they are the great equalizer. As batteries eventually wear and drain out, cold weather also causes them to work less well. With all the extra use during the winter with heating, air con and light sources inside the car, this is a common time for batteries to die out.
The best way to test this is to buy a battery tester from your local auto parts shop. Then if you need to buy one, you can also pick up a new battery too! Otherwise, you can also change the battery yourself, though this will require some know-how!
2) Check antifreeze
Make sure to test the antifreeze in your engine and radiators with a tester (these can be bought again, at any auto parts store), and if needs to be topped up, go ahead and chuck some in!
Always remember, each antifreeze is different. When buying it, make sure to check the packaging to find out if your antifreeze can be used straight, or if it has to be diluted.
3) Check screen wash
While you may normally use water to clean your windows with, at this time of the year, that just won’t cut it. Not only can the water in the reservoir freeze, but if you spray water onto your windshield, it might freeze over and cause many more problems for you!
Buy windshield washer fluid, and use that instead. While it may feel like an unnecessary expense, it’s one less thing that can freeze over on your car and cause larger expenses down the road.
4) Winter car tyres
Make sure to change to winter tyres BEFORE the first snowfall, normally in late October. Regular tyres stop being effective at 7 Celsius, while Winter tyres are made from a different compound to regular tyres, designed specifically for dealing with cold weather, ice and snow. Not only will they help you turn sharper, but also come to a stop sooner. Here’s some more tips on how to keep your car tyres healthy from the ASE: http://www.ase.com/News-Events/Publications/Glove-Box-Tips/Getting-Your-Vehicle-Ready-For-Winter.aspx
5) First aid kit
These are important to keep in a car in any circumstance, but especially so in the cold winter months, where people are more prone to breakdowns and injury. Visit here for a fantastic run down of what should be in your first aid kit!
6) Winter vehicle survival kit (more on the blog post)
For any of the other essentials, there is a fantastic car blog post dealing with this, which we suggest you visit!