6 Tips for Maintaining your Vehicle in Winter Time

Driving in the snow in winter

With the autumn and the winter that then follows, we tend to see a lot more breakdowns and problems with cars. There are though a number of things you can do to try and protect your vehicle to decrease the issues that can occur in these more extreme conditions and in this post we explain some precautions you can take to help your vehicle get through the winter. 

1. Check your Tyres

In the winter weather, particularly when it snows or is icy, it is harder for the tyres to find grip and this is why checking the tyres and ensuring the the tread on your tyres is good, is important. Even though 1.5mm is the legal minimum tread, having 3mm minimum can be a much safer amount and much more likely to help enable the tyres to find grip. If you live in an area particularly prone to icy conditions (such as if you live in the Brecons, Wales) then the tread on your tyres will be even more important and you might wish to consider if it is also worth having a set of snow chains or winter types in the boot.

Image courtesy of Ken T1381

2. Don’t Forget the Anti-Freeze

It might seem obvious to say, but we get a number of people who forget to fill up their car radiator with enough anti-freeze and the inevitable happens, in that the cooling system gets iced up. This is a common problem and very easy to fix. Make a point to check the anti-freeze regularly in the winter time.

3. Move your Car

In addition to a lack of anti-freeze, another very common issue we come across that car owners experience is a dead battery. You turn the car on after not needing to use ti for two weeks and alas, the vehicle will not start. Many of you use your car daily and this will not be an issue of course, but many others only need the vehicle every now and then.

Make a concert effort to start the car every few days by starting the engine up and letting it run for a few minutes. Once a week it is also worth driving the car for a good few miles to give the battery a chance to fully recharge.

4. Windscreen Wipers

A temptation that i can admit to having succumbed to is to try and use the windscreen wipers to clear the snow from the windscreen. If the wipers are stuck though, or if the snow is heavy on the windscreen, you run the risk of damaging the wipers. The best advice is to clear any snow or ice from the windscreen manually first before then using the wipers. Do also make sure to check the condition of the wipers at the start of the winter to see if they need replacing.

5. Keep your fuel tank at least half full

In the winter time, one problem the can cause problems with the fuel tank is the fact that temperature changes can cause condensation to sink to towards the bottom of the tank. This has the effect of water sometimes reaching the fuel line where it can potentially freeze up. By having the tank always full you should avoid this issue completely.

6. Test our Defrosting Unit

A defroster plays an important role in that it blows warm air at the windscreen to remove vapor that can cloud our windscreen inside, such as because of our own breathing and resulting condensation. Without clear visibility as a driver, through the windscreen, driving is dangerous. If fogging is a problem too often for you in the car then you may need to get the defrosting unit looked at, This unit is also important of course for keeping your warm in the coldest months and is vital in helping you to drive under comfortable conditions, so that your concentration is on the road and driving and not on the heating.

Some Tips from the RAC on Winter Driving

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