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How to properly maintain your car in winter

Car problems are more serious in winter. On top of the risk of being marooned as the temperature plummets, you also have fewer hours of daylight to get anything fixed. The best advice about breakdowns in winter is to avoid having one.

Get everything in order as early as possible, and have a strict maintenance regime to keep it that way. You don’t need to overhaul the whole car; just pay attention to the basics.

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The battery

Flat batteries (and jump starts) can cause additional problems to onboard computers and other electrical circuits. It’s not a problem you want to risk.

Many garages and motoring outlets perform free battery checks. The professionals have the best equipment, so let them use it. With luck, they’ll check your terminals and cables at the same time.

Oil and filters

Cars can be hard enough to start in winter without stale engine oil and clogged filters, so get these checked or changed as soon as possible.

Check your wheels and tyres

The British have a bad habit of driving year-round on summer tyres; we’re not sure they’ve heard of all-season and winter tyres down south. Check them for wear and damage every couple of weeks. Again, professional garage chains usually offer free tyre inspections.

You should also check your wheels. Damage from curb impacts or poor alignment might seem minor in summer, but on winter ice, they really aren’t worth the risk. If you need alloy wheel repair Bradford has a great specialist garage; see https://www.phat-wheels.co.uk/.

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Remember that dents and scratches you barely noticed in summer will start to corrode faster in winter conditions. It’s better to get everything treated before it’s a problem rather than afterward.

Water and antifreeze

It’s amazing how many people who checked their radiator in summer just rush indoors and hide in winter. There is good advice about antifreeze at AUTHORITY URL: https://www.howacarworks.com/cooling-systems/checking-and-topping-up-car-antifreeze-coolant. Most antifreeze is diluted 50:50 with distilled water before using, but read the instructions!

You should also remember to check your washer bottle. Antifreeze formulations are available for washer bottles.

Wiper blades and windscreen warmers

Test the car heating system, especially the jets that keep the windscreen clear of steam and ice. Wiper blades degrade after six months and perish after a year, so change them before the rain and snow.

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