Winter car maintenance: 5 tips to prepare for the cold weather
If you plan to use your car for the winter season, but it is not in the most suitable condition, it is a certainty that you are on the way to trouble. However, if you do a good planning and send your vehicle to a car mechanic in advance, that problem will be practically non-existent. Therefore, BTR offers you the following maintenance tips:
1. Check your oil levels and don’t gamble with your fuel light
It is extremely important that the oil level of your vehicle is between the maximum and minimum marks of the dipstick of your vehicle, because if it is low, there is a very high probability that your vehicle will suffer a breakdown or damage to the engine that requires a transfer to a car repair shop. When your vehicle is warm enough, be sure to check the oil level.
Also check if your vehicle has enough fuel in its tank and avoid at all costs forcing your vehicle across in case the low fuel light comes on. Remember, while your vehicle is a warm haven during your journey, it is important to fill it with fuel and avoid being stranded in the middle of nowhere.
2. Test your battery
If you want to avoid the possibility of being stranded on the road during the winter due to a battery failure, be sure to change your car battery every three years or as soon as possible in case of frequent problems in cold weather. Symptoms of battery failure that you should watch out for are: low engine starting, constant flickering of the red battery light while driving, and late vehicle departure after engine start.
3. Assess your tires
It is not recommended that you drive in cold conditions with slick tires, as it can significantly increase stopping distance due to ice, snow or water contamination of the road and cause a serious accident. Although tires require a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm as dictated by law, our auto mechanic recommends replacing your tires if they reach 3mm to maintain a safe stopping distance. Also make sure you have a spare tire in good condition, as well as snow chains / socks or winter tires in case you will be driving on country roads.
4. Check wiper blades and top up on windscreen wash
If you want good visibility while driving in winter conditions, it is extremely important that your wipers are in optimal condition. Apart from that, we recommend that you clean your windscreen with a clean cloth every time you go out to drive. Also, do not try to pull your wiper blades out of the frozen glass or turn them on if your windscreen is icy, as this could lead to wear and tear on the rubber.
Because the fairways are wet, muddy and salty during the winter time, your windscreen will be exposed to more spray than necessary. Therefore, it is necessary that you keep your washer fluid reserve at the highest levels to avoid unnecessary headaches.
5. Top up antifreeze
Make sure your engine’s cooling system is completely filled with antifreeze to prevent the water inside from freezing. The coolant should be changed between 2 and 5 years, depending on the type of vehicle you use and the type of coolant required.