In the last couple of weeks we’ve noticed a slight chill in the air and frost on the ground – we’ve even cranked the heating up! Yep, winter’s most definitely on its way…
With the colder weather almost upon us, we’re turning our attention to caring for our poor old cars. The number of breakdowns almost doubles in winter, so it’s worth taking a few precautions and being prepared, to ensure your car is winter ready.
Here are our top tips on what you can do to keep your car purring and to stay safe on the roads this winter:
Wipe those windows
Unless you keep your car in a garage, you’ll probably be used to scraping ice from your windscreen every morning. Make sure you leave a good 5 to 10 minutes to clear your windows, clearing the whole area rather than just enough to see out of. Always have deicer and a scraper to hand, and get a frost protector to help make the job a little quicker!
When you’re on the road, you’ll more than likely be sprayed with dirty water and grit from the vehicles in front of you. Make sure your windscreen wash is topped up, and if your wipers are worn or on their way out, grab some new ones here.
Top tip: Use air conditioning for faster demisting and to reduce condensation.
Don’t forget your dipstick
Make sure you check your oil level every couple of weeks. To check how much oil is in your car, lift out and clean your dipstick. After popping it back in, remove again to see if your level of oil falls between the minimum and maximum level marked on the stick.
Check which type of oil your car requires, then shop our car oil range at Wilko.com.
Top tip: Keep your fuel tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines… and possibly freezing!
Keep it coolant
Use coolant rather than water, and ensure the level is between the minimum and maximum markers. Damage from a frozen engine can be expensive to fix, but we’ve got some great value coolant which provides superior engine protection.
The benefits of battery care
Winter conditions put more of a strain on your battery – you’ll be using the heater, lights and windscreen wipers a lot more than in summer months.
Check your battery is in good nick and up to the task, and make sure you give it a quick charge if you go a few days without using your car – check out our range of battery chargers here. We always recommend keeping jump leads in your boot, in case your battery fails whilst you’re out and about.
Take care of tyres
Ensure your tyres are in good condition, especially when it’s icy and snowing. When it comes to tyre tread, the AA recommends that motorists have no less than 2mm and preferably 3mm for winter driving.
It’s also important that you check your tyre pressure over the winter months, ideally every couple of weeks. It’s easy to do with one of our tyre pressure kits.
Find out the ideal tyre pressure levels for your car by clicking here. You can also often find it in your handbook, on a sticker on the inside of the driver’s door, or occasionally inside the fuel cap.
Don’t be left in the dark
And check your bulbs! With dark mornings and evenings you’ll no doubt be using your lights more than you did in the summer months. It’s important that they’re nice and bright – to help you see and ensure other road users can see you. Check them every couple of weeks, make sure your lights are clean on the outside and check out our great value bulbs if you need a replacement.
Top tip: Make sure your number plates are clean and visible, as you can be fined if they can’t be read!
It’s always good to be prepared, just in case you do break down. Keep a few essentials in your boot – this is what we’d recommend:
It’s also a good idea to have breakdown cover, so you can get back on the road quickly if you break down.
Shop our full car care range at Wilko.com.