What winter checks should you do on your car?
Driving in winter can be a real challenge, particularly if you’ve not prepared your car for the bad weather. Freezing temperatures, snow and ice can all cause problems for your vehicle, making breakdowns and accidents a real possibility. Read on to find out what winter checks should you do on your car
Top 6 winter checks for your car
Breakdowns or accidents can be at the very least inconvenient and at the worst be deadly. So, rather than risk your car, your health, and even your life, it makes sense to carry out some key checks before winter arrives. The RAC recommends the use of the acronym ‘FORCES’ to remember the most important checks. These letters stand for Fuel, Oil, Rubber, Coolant, Electrics, Screen Wash.
Don’t forget to ensure that you have sufficient fuel for the journey. Whilst this should be the case all year round, it’s particularly important in winter. Your car is likely to use more fuel since traffic may be heavier and you’ll be stopping and starting it more often. Plus, the weather could change for the worse, making the journey take longer. Fill your tank before you set off to ensure you won’t run out of fuel when you need it most.
When it comes to what winter checks should you do on your car, checking the oil is next in line. Use the dipstick and top it up if necessary. Find the oil cap (look out for the oil can symbol) and then pour it up to the required level. If you’re not sure how to do this, check your handbook. Make sure you use the right oil too since it needs to be the correct thickness or viscosity for your car’s engine. If the oil is too thick or thin, it won’t provide the required protection for your engine, potentially resulting in costly damage.
When the roads are wet and icy, it’s essential that your tyres are able to offer maximum traction. You’ll need to check their tread depth and air pressure regularly. In the UK, the law states that the minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central ¾, which is 75% around the full circumference of the tyre. You can check the tread depth using a tyre gauge, or alternatively, using a 20p coin. Do this every two weeks as well as before any long journeys. If you’re not sure of the correct tyre pressure for your car, check either inside the driver’s door or in the manual.
Checking your coolant levels is essential during the winter months. Engine coolant, which is sometimes referred to as antifreeze, prevents the water in an engine’s cooling system from freezing up when temperatures are at their lowest outside. Coolant also increases the boiling point of the engine to stop it from overheating. The coolant should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the side of the tank. If the coolant is low, top it up as required. Make sure you only check the coolant level when the engine is cool. If it’s too hot, you may end up burning yourself.
Before winter sets in, we strongly recommend checking your car’s electrics. You need to ensure that the lights and indicators are working as they should, replacing any bulbs or fuses if necessary. Dead batteries are one of the biggest reasons for car breakdowns in winter, so it’s important to ensure that yours is operating efficiently.
Don’t let inadequate screenwash levels be the reason for an accident this winter. Screenwash, which is also called wiper fluid, is a fluid used for cleaning your windscreen whilst driving. The solution is intended to clear dirt and grime, improve the movement of the wiper blades, and stop the fluid from freezing up in freezing temperatures. You should top up your screenwash with a product that’s effective to a minimum of -15 degrees Celsius. This will help to keep the windscreen free of ice and dirt, preventing visibility issues. If you’re not sure how to check your screenwash levels, we can assist.
The importance of car servicing in winter
Winter can be a harsh time of your for your car. Low temperatures, rain, snow, and ice can have an impact, leading it to function at less than its best. If you follow the ‘FORCES’ acronym, you can help to keep your car safe and roadworthy over the colder months. Of course, there’s only so much you can do yourself from your garage.
Professional car servicing carried out by experienced auto technicians can help to keep your vehicle in optimum condition, making breakdowns and accidents on the roads less likely. At Wyatt Auto Services, we can carry out winter car servicing in Barnsley and Wombwell. We can serve a wide variety of makes and models, using manufacturer-approved parts to ensure your warranty stays intact.
Book a service at Wyatt’s
Wyatt Auto Service is Barnsley’s leading car garage. Located on Mitchells Industrial Park in Wombwell, we have been serving motorists throughout the area for many years. We’ve built up a fantastic reputation for professionalism and affordability. So, if you’re wondering what winter checks you should do on your car and want the work carried out by skilled mechanics with decades of experience, get in touch. We can ensure your car is ready for all that winter has to throw at it.
For professional car servicing in Barnsley or Wombwell, look no further than Wyatt Auto Services. Call us on 01226 979 087 or send us a message via the website to get in touch. We can carry out all the necessary winter checks on your car, making sure it’s fully ready for colder weather.