Get Your Car Winter and Snow Ready

Written by a Guest Blogger

This winter has been rumoured to be one of the worst for over 60 years with a lot of snow, ice and cold temperatures heading our way. This means it’s time to take action and make sure that your car is in full working order and prepared for the conditions that could soon be occurring.

There are a number of checks that you should carry out and ones that could actually be lifesaving during times of severe weather, and we’ve listed some of the most important ones below.

Brakes

With ice and snow around your brakes are essential as, although you could still slide and skid on the roads, you are at a much lower risk of damaging your car or yourself if you have fully working brakes. Check as to whether the pads and the discs are worn as this can often be the case over time. If they are visibly in bad condition you may want to replace the pads or discs and these can come much cheaper than you may think.

Also pay attention when driving as if you are noticing that you have to apply a lot more force to your brakes to get them to react, this is a big sign that something isn’t as it should be.

Lights

Head lights, fog lights, full beams and side lights are all needed throughout the winter months as the darkness draws in. While parked outside your home, check that these are all in working order and also make sure your hazards work correctly.

If any of the bulbs are broken, new ones are not expensive or hard to come by. They can be fitted within minutes and it’s just a matter of unscrewing the old, and replacing with the new.

Tyres

It is a legal requirement that the tread on your tyres should be a minimum depth of 1.6mm the entire way round across the central ¾ of the surface. They can easily become worn in hard conditions as well as if your wheel alignment is off. Have a professional check that the alignment is correct as if not this could wear down your tread significantly quicker.

Check your tyre pressure along with the car manual and make sure that the correct measurements are adhered to. This will also improve the overall performance of the car and save you money on petrol.

Wipers

As the rain starts to lash down and storms become more frequent, wipers are essential to be able to maintain your visibility. Take a look at the wiper closely to be sure that it is properly intact and is not about to come apart. These are extremely simple to replace and cost a small amount, so if you notice that they are at risk of becoming less effective take action.

Windscreen

Any chips can soon turn to cracks during the winter which can be a great deal of expense. If water gets into a chip and then freezes, the expansion of the water as it turns to ice can force the glass to break. It is a quick process to fill in chips and can often be done without claiming on your insurance policy.

With grit also being spread on the roads when ice and snow is due to occur, this can cause damage to your windscreen. Keep an eye on any chips that occur and take action as soon as possible if you notice any.

Essentials

You can prepare as much as possible for the winter weather, but sometimes accidents do happen and your car could break down. If this happens, call help immediately and wait for assistance. Due to the cold weather conditions, do not try to walk miles for help if not needed so always make sure your car has the essentials for this situation.

Pack a blanket to keep warm, a shovel to help you if you are stuck, and some snacks and water to make sure you are fed and watered while waiting.

Even though these checks are essential, common sense and good driving are still of paramount importance. Make sure that, in extreme conditions, you only drive when needed and avoid any unnecessary journeys.

This post was written by Amy Bennett who has recently carried out a full winter preparation on her car. She replaced lights and brake parts to make sure that they were in full working order. She purchased these at bargain prices thanks to Dunmow Motor Factors.

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Auto Upkeep 4th Edition

Michael Gray

Mike has roots in the automotive service industry. He began diagnosing and fixing cars at a young age in his family’s service station. He has worked in automotive parts supply stores, towing companies, and service facilities. After graduating from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a Bachelor’s degree, he implemented and taught a basic car care program at the high school level. During work on his Master’s degree at Illinois State University (IL), he was a curriculum specialist on a National Science Foundation project where he co-authored ten integrated mathematics, science, and technology books designed for team teaching. Mike has also supervised teachers in Career and Technology Education as a school system administrator.

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