21st December 2015
Is Your Car Winter Ready?
Ok, so if you haven’t prepared your car for winter by now then what have you been doing?! Nevertheless, at Vasstech we’re on hand to provide you with some useful tips on how to prepare your car for the inevitable winter bitterness that is somewhere lurking just around the corner.
Before you take your car out on the icy winter roads there’s a few checks you can do to make sure that your car is in optimum condition for what lies ahead.
Check your coolant levels and make sure that it’s between the minimum and maximum markers. Remember that in freezing conditions your coolant can indeed freeze up so make sure that the anti-freeze is at about a 50/50 ratio with distilled water.
Check your tyres! Make sure that if you don’t have a set of winter tyres on your car this year that the tread depth is up to scratch.The legal minimum tyre tread depth level is 1.6mm (millimetres) but in winter we recommend that this be 3mm and certainly no less than 2mm.
Don’t you find that your car’s front and back windscreens get much dirtier in the winter months? Be prepared and make sure that you have enough screenwash and that you use anti-freeze screenwash in the winter mixed with distilled water. Different types of screenwash protect down to different temperatures so be sure to read the label for the right instructions. For weather conditions in England you should be looking to protect down to -10º.
Be sure to keep an eye on your wiper blades. They can become cracked or torn in winter, if they become frozen to the glass they can be easily damaged when freeing them up. They will also wear out quicker as they will be put to more use so if they stop clearing the windshields completely. To help keep your wiper blades in top condition, you can gently wipe the rubber squeegee part with a damp paper towel and never use your wiper blades to de-ice your windscreens. It’d advised that you change your wiper blades once a year.
It’s more difficult for your battery to start the engine in cold weather, especially if it’s an old battery that hasn’t been changed in several years. An average car battery should last from 5 to 7 years. If you’re unsure of whether or not your car battery needs changing, bring your vehicle to us for a free check up and we’ll let you know.
Winter Emergency Kit
For these unpredictable month’s it’s a good idea to be prepared for whatever the weather may have in store. You could find yourself stuck for hours due to a breakdown or a road accident causing huge jams on your route to your destination. You may be worried about your fuel levels but turning off your engine would mean succumbing to the bitter winter cold. Pack a rug or sleeping bag with you on your travels, perhaps even bring a thermos with you on a long journey and don’t forget some snacks such as chocolate, cereal bars and crisps too! A sat nav, roadmap and phone charger would come in handy as well.
For outside use in case you find yourself stuck in the snow, pack a shovel, torch and even some salt to help melt the ice around the tyres. As a last resort you could even use you car floor mats in front of your tyres. It would also be a good idea to carry some de-icer, a windscreen scraper and some extra screen wash.
Well that’s just about everything you need to know on preparing your car for winter this year. Hope you’ve found this helpful and if you have any questions then don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give you local Vasstech branch a call or fill out our handy online form.