Survive winter like an arctic fox with the Changing Lanes winter blog series!
First up…Winter Blog #1: Car Care
I’ve learnt a few things over the years that keep my car ticking over in the cold weather and I would like to share these with you.
- Check your engine has enough coolant/anti-freeze, oil and water. The car’s manual will help you locate them if you haven’t already been nosing under your bonnet.
- Check the condition of your tyres, the tread depth and pressure. Look out for any bulges, bumps or other imperfections that could indicate the tyre has been undermined.
- Make sure the fan and demister inside the car are working and doing their job sufficiently to keep the windows and windscreens clear of mist. Check the wipers are ok. The wiper blades might need to be replaced if the rubbers are worn.
- Outside the car, check that all your lights and indicators are working.
- If your car is iced over, grab a can of de-icer. Do not use boiled water from the kettle on windows and windscreens. If you must, use lukewarm water. Then a quick swish of the wipers will stop that water from freezing over if it’s still really cold out. You can rip the seals around the car door if they are frozen tight so don’t tug at the doors to force them open.
- A cold snap can be the death blow to a weak battery. If you are worried and think your battery may be on the way out, bring it to a mechanic and they can test it.
- To preserve the battery, I always make sure the fan, demister, radio, and lights are off on the car before turning off the ignition and before starting the car. I go gentle on the fans and demister before the car heats up fully and only then do I crank up the fan to warm me up! Driving the car will heat it up quicker than letting it idle in the yard.
- Go easy on the car when the engine is cold, especially if it’s getting old. Accelerate smoothly and don’t rev the bejaysus out of it (until it’s warmed up of course, then normal service can resume if it’s safe to do so!).