A little maintenance prevents a winter of discontent
With summer on the run and the colder, wetter days of winter looming, your thoughts may be turning to holidays in the snow, weekend getaways in the country or the blast of the siren heralding the start of another footy season.
Car maintenance probably isn’t uppermost in your mind at this time, is it? Well despite that it’s worth giving it some thought, because a bit of attention now can prevent a winter of discontent over the coming months.
Let’s start with the obvious: it rains in winter and windscreen wiper blades in good working order are an essential part of your car’s safety equipment.
It makes sense to check them to see if they’ve got cracked or perished over summer. It they’re “chattering” over the windscreen or not leaving it streak-free, then chuck them out and replace them. They’re cheap and easy to replace, so there’s really no excuse for not doing it.
Batteries really take a hammering in winter when your car’s fluids are thicker and things are harder to get moving, so get your battery checked out. If the terminals have white or green residue around them brush it off using an old paintbrush and a paste of bicarbonate of soda and water. Just don’t do it over your lawn or driveway – neither will thankyou for the unwanted acid bath.
If the terminals have gone past the clean-up stage then replace them and save yourself a heap of grief and inconvenience.
Bald tyres and wet roads really don’t go together no matter how good your car’s brakes are. You need a minimum of 2mm of tread on your tyres, and the easy way to gauge that is by inserting a match head into the tread to see if it covers the head. If it doesn’t it’s time to have them replaced.
While you’re checking those tyres make sure they’re properly inflated – you’ll find the right pressures in your owner’s manual or on the doorframe on the driver’s side. Wrongly inflated tyres are dangerous and wear out quickly
Take care in the snow
If you’re heading for the snow country this winter make sure it’s you that’s sliding gracefully down the slopes and not your car. Stopping distances are 10 times greater in snow, so just be careful out there, slow down and give the vehicle in front plenty of space. And another thing - ski boots are for skiing, not driving, so slip into something drier and more comfortable when you get behind the wheel.
Keep your car garaged
It pays to keep your car garaged and out of the weather, but if that’s not possible then at least try to keep it off the lawn overnight. Condensation on your car’s engine and electrical systems is bad news, causing current leakage. It can also rust out the inside of your bonnet, so avoid it wherever possible.
It’s hard to see in the pouring rain, so it’s vital that your car is as visible as possible. Make sure all your lights and indicators are working as they should.
Back to previous page
Back to main blog