Preparing Your Car for Winter

Winter tyres
Winter tyres

As the days get shorter and temperatures start to plummet, now is the time to get your car ready for the long winter months. Making sure that your car is in peak condition over the winter is especially vital. Neglecting maintenance on your vehicle now could have detrimental effects as you start waking up to frozen roads and snow.

Car Repairs in Kent

For those who can’t be dealing with, or just don’t have the time for such mundane tasks, look for a well-respected and trusty garage who do Car Repairs in Kent, many of these local dealerships will carry out a winter check on your behalf, saving you the time and giving you the satisfaction that you vehicle is ready for the winter roads! If however you are up to the task, then make sure to check the following on your vehicle ahead of winter or at least as the bad weather starts to head your way so that you don’t get stuck out in the cold!

Tyres

Your car tyres are one of the most essential items to check as they are the only part to come into contact with the road (hopefully). Making sure they are in good condition is not only a legal requirement but an important safety aspect too. Winter tyres have become more popular over the last few years. They are designed to give you more grip in icy conditions but also work well on the wet roads. Winter tyres differ from summer or all- weather tyres in that they often have a deeper tread. They also use a softer compound rubber but it is the tread itself that provides the greatest difference. Across the tread you will find diagonal slits called ‘sipes’. These sipes give the tyre a greater surface area and therefore more grip. If you don’t want the added expense of a new set of winter tyres along with a spare set of wheel rims to go with them, then make sure that your current tyres have plenty of tread left on them and that there is no other damage. Also, make sure that you tyres are inflated to the correct pressure.

Winter tyres

Winter tyres

Battery and Electrics

If you find that your car won’t start on cold mornings then it may well be a problem with the battery. Batteries don’t like the cold weather and if a battery is on its last legs then a cold snap may stop it from holding its charge completely. Get your battery and charging system checked and think about replacing your battery if you’ve had problems. Making sure that all your lights are functioning correctly should be a part of your regular maintenance check at any time of year. With the shorter days of winter, it is essential to know the lights are working.

Windows and Wipers

Check your windscreen for chips or cracks. If moisture gets into a chip and freezes it can cause cracking or make existing cracks worse. Also, check that your wiper blades are in good condition and that the washers work correctly. Due to the wet roads a lot of dirt can be thrown up onto your windscreen, so being able to get rid of it is essential.

Under the Bonnet

Check all fluid levels especially oil and coolant levels. Make sure washer fluid level is topped up and less diluted than normal to avoid freezing. It can be a good idea to flush out the coolant system and replace it with fresh coolant with enough anti-freeze in it too.

Antifreeze for winter

Antifreeze for winter

Another good habit to get into is to have some essentials stored in the car in case of a break down. Items such as a blanket, torch and a phone charger are all good to have around in an emergency. Driving in winter can be especially hard on cars but the best way to avoid any problems is to prepare for them in advanced. You’ll find that many car dealers now offer these type of seasonal checks in their car service and maintenance plans, or along with a loyalty program membership. It’s certainly worth checking out what’s available from your local Kent car dealership as spending a little money in advance could save you £’s after the event!

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