Students who are lucky enough to own a car will know all too well how important regular maintenance is to keep their ride in tip-top condition, and to prevent costly problems from taking a sizeable chunk out of their budgets. With this in mind, here are some tips for properly prepping your car so that you’re able to steer clear of common winter weather woes.
There are generally four main aspects of your car that you should keep a close eye on leading up to winter, and throughout the colder months of course: your battery, tyres, lights and windscreen.
Car batteries have their work cut out for them when it’s chilly – this is because it’s much harder to kick-start a cold engine than it is to kick-start a warm one! That’s why it’s worthwhile to make doubly sure that your battery is in good working order before the temperatures start to plummet. The most important things to check include the water level (it must cover the fluid plates) and whether there’s a build-up of dirt and dust. A clean battery is a well-functioning battery!
Oh, and don’t forget to turn off all devices in your car before switching off your engine when you get home from varsity at night – especially the aircon’/heater and radio as these can put further strain on your battery when starting your vehicle the following morning.
With wet, frosty and slippery roads during winter, you’ll need quality tyres to avoid accidents. Make sure that your tyre tread is at least 1mm deep and that all of them have been properly inflated.
With days getting shorter and nights longer, your headlights are more important than ever before. Never mind the fog that often lingers along the roads. With this in mind, you’ll want to ensure that they’re nice and bright – if not, it’s definitely a good idea to consider having the bulbs replaced.
On most mornings, your windscreen will be covered in a thin sheen of ice. Don’t use your wipers to get rid of it – instead, flick it off gently using your student card or bank card. If you notice any cracks in the windscreen, be sure to get them seen to as quickly as possible. Windscreens are a lot more likely to crack when the weather gets cold.
Lastly, experts advise that you should check your windscreen wiper blades every six months or so and that they usually need to be changed once a year. Driving visibility is all important to a safe journey, and if your wipers won’t wipe – you have a problem. Watch out for the following signs of a damaged wiper blade in which case you will need to replace them:
- Streaking bands
- Fine lines of water left on the windscreen
- Skipping/hopping a section or excessive vibration
- Squeaking or chattering sounds
As always, drive safe!