Daily Archives: February 3, 2018

3 Quick Winter Car Checks You Should Be Carrying Out

Over the course of the year, our cars rack up a lot of miles and spend hundreds of hours out on the roads.

In fact, according to the National Transport Survey’s findings, the average household car covers 7,800 miles a year, whilst the average person spends an average of 13,000 minutes driving annually, across 514 car trips.

Of course, it’s little wonder then, that all this time out on the roads can eventually take its toll on your car. And, of course, it’s sod’s law for your car to break down during the depths of winter, when it’s freezing cold and pitch black outside, and you have to attempt to jump-start your car.

So, to make sure your vehicle stays in tip-top condition over the coming months, we’ve found three quick car checks for you to carry out this winter.

Check your windscreen and wipers

This might seem like a fairly trivial point but checking your windscreen and windscreen wipers is actually one of the more important checks you can do without the help of a professional.

During winter, it’s vital that you can see clearly out of your windscreen, especially in adverse weather conditions where the visibility is already reduced. However, having wiper blades that are torn or damaged can prevent you from being able to see properly, as they tend to smear any dirt or salt rather than clear it.

Similarly, checking for any chips in the windscreen is especially important during winter as the cold weather can cause them to get bigger and may result in a cracked windscreen.

If you find any damage to your wipers or windscreen, make sure to get them fixed sooner rather than later to prevent any further damage and extra costs.

 The RAC has provided a great set of resources for checking your windscreen and wipers, as well as how to replace them.

 Check the coolant and oil

 Your engine oil and coolant levels are both extremely important in helping your engine to run smoothly and safely, especially during the winter months. However, both of these things can be affected by colder weather.

Coolant helps your car to maintain the right temperature level, preventing your radiator from freezing during the winter months, which means it’s important to make sure it’s topped up by checking the level is between the minimum and maximum markers on the tank.

Similarly, engine oil keeps your engine running by lubricating all of the moving parts and preventing them from seizing up. As a result, during the winter months, you need the correct viscosity for your engine (which can be found in the manual) to keep everything working efficiently.

You can check if you have enough oil by locating the dipstick and checking the oil is between the minimum and maximum markers.

Check the tyres

Finally, one quick check you can do by yourself is checking the state of your tyres, which will gradually erode over the miles.

We spoke to VW Motor Parts, who said: “having a secure grip on the road is imperative during the winter, especially when ice and rain can make the surface extra slippery, so it’s important you check your tyres are compliant to the correct standards.

By law, the tread depth on each tyre must be 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and across the complete circumference, and you can test this by inserting a 20p coin into the grooves.

If you can see the outer band of the coin, then your tyres might be below the legal limit and we recommend you get them checked by a mechanic.”