Winter is coming! How do I prepare my vehicle?
Preparing your vehicle is essential; as we head into the winter, it’s important that for the safety of us and the other people using the roads, that our vehicles are ready for the colder climates.
Did you know that 14% of crashes are caused by poor road conditions, this can be anything from bad weather conditions to potholes on our roads?
Within this post you will find out our top tips to keep your vehicle safe on the roads, it’s also important to remember to also obtain ECU Testing. This is to make sure all the electrical elements within your vehicle are working correctly. At ECU we can provide this service for you by repairing the relevant sensors or electrical wiring that may be causing faults.
Top up your coolant
Engine coolant is a liquid that is added to your vehicle’s engine cooling system. It’s usually a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze.
Having this will help to stop the water within your system from freezing in cold weather conditions. This element will also help with pressurised systems to stop it from overheating.
Check out this helpful article from The AA, which helps you with how to check your coolant.
Check your battery
There is nothing worse than breaking down with a flat battery, especially in the wintertime. This is why checking your battery should be your first priority.
Usually when we get into winter the use of our heaters and having our lights on for longer can put a strain on our battery. It is said that batteries life lasts around 5 years.
If you notice that your vehicle lags, when you turn your ignition on or maybe you have gone to start your journey and you have a flat battery then you will need to get a replacement.
Places such as Halfords offer the service to replace and fit new batteries or you can even take it to a trusted garage.
Clean and check your lights
It is vital that your front and rear lights are working correctly, not just to obtain the law but to keep you and the other road users safe.
In winter the dark nights begin much earlier than in the summer, so the use of our lights will increase. It is important that you are checking for any cracks or blown bulbs.
Also, it’s essential to keep all your lights, indicators and rear reflections clean. You can simply take some soapy water and give them a simple wipe down.
Make sure to also check that your full beam and fog lights are working correctly.
Get your vehicle serviced
Hopefully, this tip is a no brainer for when we head into the colder months. But most issues with our vehicles could have been prevented if the correct servicing and maintenance checks were being made.
This time of the year, some garages offer “free winter car checks” so make sure to take advantage of this service to keep you and your fellow road users safe.
In the meantime, check out Halfords winter preparation service.
Safely check your tyres
We all know that our tyres affect both our steering and braking, so keeping these in good condition is essential.
In winter it is recommended that you have a minimum of 3mm tyre depth, compared to the legal minimum of 1.6mm.
Another tip is to change up your summer tyres to winter, as these will help to keep you safe in snow, slush or ice conditions.
For more information about tyre-wear, check out our guide.
- Always top up your screen washer fluid with antifreeze, to make sure you have clear visibility when driving.
- Make sure you have breakdown cover, especially at this time of the year.
- Carry a winter breakdown kit, which includes a shovel, torch, blanket, hi-visibility vest, screenwash, food and drink supplies, scraper and de-icer.
- Try to keep at least a quarter tank of fuel, in case you head into any unexpected delays.
- If you know how to then check your oil, brake pads/discs and your brake fluid – if not then you can simply take your vehicle to the relevant garage.
- Head to a certified garage to get ECU Testing.
We hope this blog post will help you to make regular and effective checks to your vehicle to keep yourself safe from any unwanted hazards.