Winter can be a challenging season for all of us with the long nights and harsh temperatures during the days.
However, it can also have a detrimental effect on our cars too. Cold weather, icy roads, and snow can take a toll on your car, making maintenance crucial for its longevity and value retention. However, with a little TLC and some prep work, you’ll be able to keep your car safe and sound this season.
The Importance of Vehicle Maintenance
A car is a major investment and, depending on how often you use it, it’s one that needs to be treated as such. It’s no secret that cars decline in value over time and as they start racking up miles on the clock but the more time and effort you put into keeping your car in tip-top shape, the longer it will hold its value and the longer it’ll keep working. During the winter months, this is particularly important to acknowledge, as the cold weather and unpredictable road conditions can lead to serious problems.
Tyres are your sole point of contact with the road so keeping them secure and ensuring their integrity should be of paramount importance. It’s also a lot easier to change your tyres than it is to deal with the potential fallout of a serious accident! Regularly inspect your tyres for wear, flats, or cracks, particularly during the winter month when wet, snowy, and icy conditions make good tyre condition even more important.
Regular Services and Maintenance
While personal maintenance is important, cars require professional servicing to ensure optimal performance. Regular services and MOTs are, of course, crucial for your car’s health (not to mention road worthiness) but consistently checking and topping up car fluids is also essential. Oil lubricates the engine, reducing wear and tear so you should always ensure your oil levels are topped up at this time of year. Use a dipstick to check oil levels and monitor engine coolant and other fluids.
Extend your car’s battery life by driving long distances regularly, allowing the alternator to recharge the battery. Avoid draining the battery with electronics when the engine is off (so remember to turn off the stereo) and if the battery runs flat, use a car battery charger to recharge it. If problems persist, however, it might be time for a new battery or alternator.
Finally, it should go without saying that your driving habits significantly impact on your car’s health. Avoid resting on the clutch or gearstick, harsh braking, or rapid acceleration, as these habits can accelerate wear and tear, leading to faster breakdowns. Also, when the road conditions are not ideal, don’t rush anywhere! It’s not worth it, no matter how valuable you think your time might be.