As we head into the winter it’s time to check your vehicle and prepare it for the cold!
As temperatures start to drop we need to ensure our vehicles are ready for the long winter months. Any underlying mechanical issues could escalate as the cold starts to set in. We have a few steps that you can take to ensure you are giving yourself the best opportunity to survive and not finding yourself stuck by the roadside awaiting assistance.
Step 1: Get your vehicle booked in for a Winter Check: These checks look at key areas of the vehicle including: tyres, battery life, coolant & antifreeze, windscreen wipers, lights & bulbs and finally oil levels. By ensuring these are all working or topped-up, you give yourself and your vehicle a fighting chance of surviving the winter months without a breakdown. In the last few years we have seen an increase in bad weather including increased levels of snow. This on top of potholed roads that are still scarred from previous winters (read more about how these are formed HERE) means it is worth booking your vehicle in for a Winter Vehicle Check, speak to us for more details on what SVLS has to offer.
Step 2: If you have a journey planned remember FORCES before going!!
- Fuel: Check you have plenty of fuel in your tank for the journey, it is obvious, but it is a common issue for those that become stranded during the winter months. By keeping your tank, a minimum “half full” and topping it off will ensure that you do not have the stress of running out and making a mistake when under pressure.
- Oil: Dangerously low oil can lead to catastrophic engine failure, likewise too much oil can equally cause damage. Always make sure your oil is between the max and min on the dipstick (check manufacturer guidelines or Click Here for more information.
- Rubber: The two main areas to consider are Tyres and Wiper Blades. Tyres need to be checked for wear and tear, bulges and importantly during the winter months tread depth. Your tyres are the only connection to the road so it is vital that they are in the best condition possible (read up more about tyres and why they are important HERE). You could consider winter or all-season tyres. These have a slightly different rubber compound allowing them to remain flexible during the lower temperatures ensuring improved contact with the road and therefore better braking and handling performance in snow, ice, wet and cold conditions. We are able to provide and fit these for you if you are considering them for the coming winter months. Wiper blades need to be clean and in good working order.
- Coolant: Ensuring that coolant level is correct for the weather condition is vital, the last thing you want is a frozen engine or the vehicle to overheat. Click Here for a little more about the Coolants function in the Engine and how it keeps the engine cool or frost free.
- Electrics: With the darker mornings and evenings it is essential that you can see and that you can be seen. You need to ensure that all your lights are working and they are clean. You will need to keep an eye on your lights, with the wintery weather they are likely to become dirty quickly, becoming less effective. Your lights will be checked and replaced as part of the SLVS Winter Vehicle Check. During the Winter Vehicle Check your batteries terminals will be cleaned, ensuring a tight fit, they will start the engine to see if it is struggling to start or “labours” when you turn the key. If your battery is over four years old, it may be getting to the end of its life. During the Winter Vehicle Check they will also look at the charging system and the drain on the battery, this will give a better overall picture of your vehicles electrical health.
- ScreenWash: Due to there being more muck and dirt on the roads during the winter months it is important to make sure you top the wash levels up regularly with a quality screen wash that is effective to at least -15 degrees Celsius, the last thing you want is a dirty screen and a frozen screen wash tank (remember the wind-chill factor can send the temperature to below 20 degrees Celsius.
If you are considering putting on winter tyres for the colder months ahead we are able to offer advice as well as source and fit these for you.
Remember… your tyres are the only thing connects you to the road, make sure you have the best tyre for the job! Do not hesitate to contact the Standlake Vehicle Services Team for more information or booking your vehicle in for that Winter Vehicle Check!