Getting your car winter ready: a winter car checklist - Audi, VW, Seat and Skoda Specialists in Guildford and Surrey
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Getting your car winter ready: a winter car checklist


Keeping your car in great health should be a priority throughout the year. Nevertheless, the cold weather can increase the risk of breakdowns and road accidents, which is why completing the right winter maintenance is crucial.

Here at CT Cars, our experts have produced this winter maintenance guide to answer your questions on keeping the car in great health this winter. Let’s get started.

1. Should I book in my car for a winter service?

The snow has started far earlier this winter than in previous years. If you are worried about your car heading into the cold seasons, booking a full service for your vehicle is highly advised. Booking a winter car service at CT Cars will ensure that you gain a comprehensive diagnosis of the car’s health along with any necessary updates for winter.

Aside from the immediate benefits, treating minor faults now could save you a lot of hassle when it’s time for an MOT. If nothing else, it will deliver the peace of mind that you deserve.

2. What tyres should I use in the winter?

While the UK does encounter bad weather in winter, the cold months aren’t as harsh as they are in other places. The decision to buy winter-specific tyres is a personal choice. While it will require an outlay, it can extend the lifespan of your summer tyres. Better still, braking distances can improve by several metres due to the increased grip and traction.

Whichever tyres you select, it’s vital that you keep their air pressure to the optimal PSI level as per your vehicle handbook. This should aid safety, performance, and comfort.

3. How can I keep my windscreen clean in winter?

A clean windscreen is vital for all drivers, particularly in the winter months when snow, hailstones, early nights, and fog can affect your visibility. Cleaning the windscreen now is essential. Following this, you should always ensure that it has been de-iced ahead of any journey. Likewise, you must remove condensation before you get moving.

Topping up the screen wash fluid is another vital step at this time of the year. Be sure to replace any broken wipers or remove any debris that causes scraping.

4. What steps should be taken to protect my lights this winter?

In addition to protecting your visibility, it is equally crucial that other road users can see your car with ease. Research shows that a road accident happens every hour when adverse winter weather hits. Firstly, it might be an opportune moment to upgrade your headlight and tail lights to LED bulbs.

Meanwhile, you must check your lights, including the fog lights and wash them as frequently as needed. You can do this with a headlight cleaner and sealant.

5. How do I check my brakes for winter?

It’s imperative that your brakes are efficient at all times. However, it is especially vital in the winter months when the roads are likely to be wet. A visual inspection involves looking at the brake pads from behind the wheels to look for corrosion. If there are any issues, you may wish to replace the brake pads or brake discs.

Of course, if you notice that your car didn’t stop as expected after hitting the brakes, you can get them professionally tested too.

6. Should I top up my fuel before a long journey?

Yes. In fact, you should ideally keep the tank half full at all times in winter. You won’t want to complete an extra journey to the petrol station when it’s snowing. Besides, adverse weather could impact fuel deliveries. Fuel economy is noticeably lower in winter too. So, you should keep an eye on the gauge rather than trusting your instincts based on summer driving.

Alternatively, if you have an electric car, you should keep the battery charged. Getting stuck on the side of the road in winter is never fun.

7. What should I pack in my winter essentials car kit?

Even when you take the right precautions, you cannot prevent all breakdowns or winter problems. Therefore, it’s vital to keep a kit of essentials in your boot. It should include; a torch, ice scraper and de-icer, jump leads, reflective warning triangle (ideally two), sunglasses, in-car phone charger, a portable battery charger, and screenwash.

Packing blankets, warm clothes, and some fresh water is highly advised too. After all, in the worst situations, you could be waiting several hours for help.

8. What other winter maintenance steps should I complete?

It’s not just about making winter-specific changes. You also want to keep the car in great overall condition simply because nobody wants to encounter breakdowns on a freezing Thursday evening in January. It is advised that you test your battery and top up the engine coolant – just be sure to check your handbook to confirm suitability.

CT Cars can provide these services and so much more as a part of your winter service. Contact us now to book your vehicle in for a check.

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