As the temperature begins to drop, a car will breakdown on average every 6 seconds, with motorists having to fork out over £500 on car repairs per year.
It’s important to be aware of the impact of cold weather and know how you can protect your car from damage. In doing this, you can ensure your car is the safest it can be when you are travelling in hazardous weather conditions.
Experts at ATS Euromaster have put together six cost-effective tips to help drivers maintain their cars and avoid any breakdowns or damages.
Check your brakes
When driving in weather such as rain, snow or ice, the road can become slippery. In wintery weather, vehicle stopping distance increases which means it is even more important to keep your brakes in tip-top condition to help ensure your safety on the road this winter.
Keep your battery running regularly
Cold temperatures can affect an engine battery and even cause it to lose power.
ATS Euromaster suggest running the battery for a couple of minutes to keep the engine ticking over. If you live in a particularly cold area, you can use a battery cover that prevents it from freezing.
Check & change your engine oil
During colder weather, oil can thicken and will no longer protect your car’s engine and instead run the risk of your damaging your engine.
To prevent the cost of repairing your engine, check your oil regularly through the winter months, and if you can, get your oil changed to help your car run efficiently.
Keep windscreens defrosted
In cold temperatures windscreens and wipers can freeze quickly and can affect your visibility if you don’t have a quick solution to defrost your car.
One very low-cost hack is to use warm water in a zip lock bag, this will quickly reduce the frost and allow you to drive safely. Make sure you do not use boiling hot water as that can shatter your windscreen or make chips worse.
Check your tyre pressure
Fluctuating temperatures can impact the inflation in your tyres, the pressure decreases about 1 PSI (pounds per square inch) for every 10 degrees the temperature drops. If your tyres have deflated, they can cause sliding than usual, especially in heavy rainfall, ice, and snow. Therefore, it is important to check them regularly during cold months.
Swap your tyres
Swap your summer tyres with winter or all season tyres as these work best at temperatures below 7 degrees. All season tyres are not only great for winter but perform well in most conditions, allowing the best handling on both warm and cold roads.
Lots of drivers opt for this as not only can they use them all year-round, but they also help with saving money on changing them twice.
Check your screenwash
Due to bad weather during winter months, it is more common for dirt to fling up on to your windscreen and reduce visibility.
If you are discovered with no screenwash, you could run the risk of a £100 fine, so it is important to check this regularly and keep it topped up.
Avoid condensation on your windows
Condensation in your car can happen when the temperature in your car is different to the outside. Warm air inside the car and cold air from the windscreen causes vapour to turn into water, which can seriously affect your visibility when driving. You should run your air conditioning to clear the dampness but otherwise to help reduce this from happening, you can buy condensation drip strips that go in your door for under £5.