It’s here. The big freeze. Winter is rearing its chilly head and our cars are going to be put to the test in this most gruelling of seasons. But fear not, there are a few things you can do to ensure your car doesn’t fail you this Christmas.
Check your tyres – Look at their condition, pressure and tread (3mm is recommended for Winter driving). Also, don’t believe the myth that reducing tyre pressure improves grip; it doesn’t and in fact can make your car even more unstable.
Check your fluid levels – Check your motor oil, brake fluids and water levels. Keep them topped up and add antifreeze to your washer fluid to prevent freezing.
Check your battery – Your battery is put under a lot of strain over Winter. With heaters on full and lights being used more often, make sure it is fully charged and able to manage the extra work. It is recommended to change your battery every five years, so if it is getting close to it invest in a new one to be safe.
Check your windscreen – Make sure there are no cracks or chips, and keep it clean. This may sound an odd one, but with the low sun in this season it can reduce visibility, and a dirty windscreen is only going to make things worse.
Windscreen wipers – It may seem obvious, but on a busy frosty morning it’s easy to forget about your windscreen wipers. Always make sure to lift them off your windscreen before using them, to ensure they aren’t stuck. Using an ice-welded wiper can cause damage to them.
No hot water – This is a classic Winter must, or must not as it were. Don’t use hot or boiling water (however tempting) to clear frost from your windows. It can re-freeze quickly and cause your windows to crack.
Clear your vision – Again seems obvious, but when in a hurry a lot of us can’t wait for that windscreen to clear. Don’t just leave a small hole for vision and hope for the best, wait till all windows are clear and don’t forget your mirrors. Using de-icer can speed up the process a lot quick than just scraping.
Don’t rush! – Ice is treacherous. Once you’ve lost control it is very hard to come back from it. Take your time and leave plenty of space between you and other cars.
Emergency kit – Stock your car up with an emergency Winter kit. This includes a first aid kit, high-visibility vest and warning triangle. A blanket and snow spade could also come in handy if stranded in particularly snowy weather.
Keep your fuel tank full – This is a little known, but very important tip for the Winter months. Keep your fuel tank topped up, as condensation from the changing temperatures can sink to the bottom. If your red warning light comes on, this water can reach your fuel line and freeze meaning very bad news!
It’s easy to keep your car running in the cold Winter. For more advice and to keep your car in good health for Winter, get a Winter Service from Gwent VW – based on the Leeway Industrial Estate, Newport. You will find us easily from Cwmbran, Newport and Cardiff or call us now on 01633 281222 for more information.