Is your car Ready for the winter ?

Ensuring that your car is in safe mechanical condition is a year-round job for every motorist, but it’s particularly important as the winter weather takes hold. There are also some specific cold-weather checks and maintenance that you should carry out. • Add anti-freeze to your radiator. Engine coolant can crack radiators, even the engine block itself, if allowed to freeze, which will land you with costly repair bills. Check your handbook for details on which product to use. • Keep your windscreen washer reservoir well topped up with appropriate screen wash containing anti-freeze additives. Examine the wiper blades, front and rear, and replace them if they’re worn. • Cold starts place an extra strain on the car’s battery, as does the increased use of the headlights and demisters. If your car is sluggish to start in the morning, consider replacing your battery. • Make sure the battery’s contact terminals are free from grime. You could also grease them to prevent charge leakage. • Check your tyres. Low tread or unevenly worn tyres are dangerous, particularly during the winter months. We’d recommend a tread depth of around 3mm – nearly double the 1.6mm required by law – to be safe. Don’t forget to check the spare, too. • Even in winter you should run your air-conditioning for at least an hour a week. This allows the coolant in the system to lubricate all of the moving parts and prevents the build-up of elements which can corrode pipework. • It’s especially important that you continue to regularly check all of the fluid levels, lights and tyre pressures through the winter. If you find something awry, fix it before you set off. • Make sure your car is serviced according to the manufacturer’s schedule to ensure it’s in proper working order throughout the winter.

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