Have you done yours ??
We are now into the darkest month of the year with the two coldest months just around the corner, time to check over the car(s) for the freezing temperatures ahead if you have not already done so.
If you battery is not maintenance free you should check the water levels and top us as necessary. Make sure the terminal connectors are clean and tight. Listen that you don’t have a slow engine turn over first thing in the mornings, this could indicate trouble is around the corner, get your battery checked and your charging system.
Most modern cars are now filled with specific coolant fluids that act as cleaners, metal preservatives and antifreeze combined, this is fine unless they have become diluted by adding water over time, or passed there recommended change dates.
Older vehicles should have the antifreeze changed every 2-3 years and checked before winter each year for the solution strength.
Check your screen wash bottle is topped up regularly and the fluid is a heavy concentrate to prevent freezing over night.
Make sure you are running on correct tyre pressures for safety with the poor road conditions at this time of year, economy will also be affected, every little helps towards those pressies.
Always keep a tin of the legendary quick fix puncture repair stuff in the car. During winter months punctures are far more common and a tin of this in the boot is easily applied to get you off the side of the road on a dark cold night. Another point to consider is the peace of mind when the wife and kids are out on family manoeuvres, knowing she can deal with a puncture easily. Calling the various roadside assistance companies could prove to be a long wait during their busiest time of year.
DE-ICER AND SCRAPER
Keep these to hand in the door pocket or under the seat, useful for those times when you are in a rush. You do not want to be driving whilst trying to look through a porthole on the windscreen until it defrosts.
The more you drive at this time of year the bigger chance of you running into problems with bad weather, poor road conditions, heavy use of lights and heating on the vehicle working the battery and alternator to it’s maximum.
We would recommend a few items to keep in the boot over the winter months for extra safety for those “just in case times”.
There are many new lightweight and compact snow shovels now available to keep in the boot for those emergencies.
SPREY ON SNOW CHAINS
Widely available in any good motoring accessory shop are varying types of aerosol sprays that can be applied directly to your tyres assisting traction for a short period of time. A good investment for a few pounds to keep in the boot for those slippery side roads. It could make the difference of getting home or not.
Always useful in a car, but more so at this time of year especially if you breakdown as your heating system will be lost.
Another good idea is to have a small bag stowed in the boot containing a torch, warm woolly hat, pair of gloves & socks, scarf, bottle of water and some chocolate bars. A tow rope & jump leads are useful too, if you really want to be on the ball. Also consider a good book, entertainment for the kids, a phone charger and first aid kit if not already in the car. Do you have a warm old coat? Then throw that in alongside the bag too.
So many people have become complacent to the elements and problems of winter motoring in today’s modern vehicles cocooned in the calm quiet warmth of their car, when trouble occurs they are totally unprepared. You don’t have to be one of them.