As the frost on the windscreen starts to appear, we’ve put together a couple of winter maintenance tips to help keep you safe on the road.
A Healthy Battery
Making sure your vehicle’s battery is in good health is essential for avoiding a vehicle that won’t start on a frosty morning. The battery condition and operation is checked as part of your vehicles routine service, if you require an additional check as a precautionary measure the likes of Halfords offer free of charge battery checks.
If you find that your battery isn’t in great shape, we would recommend replacement as soon as possible, if your vehicle has a Fleet Evolution maintenance package, then you should call us to organise this.
During periods of reduced daylight hours and cold conditions, it’s no surprise that vehicles lights are used more frequently than at other times of the year, meaning maintaining the condition of your lights is even more important. You should always make sure that they are clean and free of anything that will obstruct the light, this includes snow, frost and condensation. You should routinely check that all of your vehicles lights are functioning correctly, for brake lights and reversing lights this can be a little more difficult but reverse parking the car near a reflective surface should allow you to view the reflection of the vehicle rear and to view and check the operation of the brake lights and the reverse lights.
Antifreeze is vital component of your vehicle engine’s cooling system and prevents the coolant from freezing and damaging the engine. It is important that the coolant level is routinely checked and topped up as recommended within your vehicle’s handbook to the correct level. Whenever you perform this check ensure that your engine is cold to prevent any injury. You should never top up the cooling system with just water, always use the correct type of anti-freeze (normally indicated by the colour of the coolant) with a mixture of water and anti-freeze as specified within your vehicle handbook.
Visibility is key when driving, particularly in the winter, to ensure a clear and effective windscreen you should check the fluid level of your screen wash regularly, you can top this up with either a ready mixed solution or you can purchase concentrated which must be mixed with water; the instructions on the packaging will clear indicate the ratio of water to concentrate that is recommended. Screen wash has a lower freezing temperature than water so this should help prevent frozen washer jets.
Stopping distances on wet roads increase compared to dry roads, on icy roads this can increase by 10 times. In addition to the extra care and attention when driving in such conditions it is important to check the condition of your tyres to make sure they are inflated correctly to the pressures/ conditions specified within the vehicle handbook.
Also check your tyres tread depth with a suitable depth gauge. You should check the inner, the middle and the outer of the central three quarters of the tread; whilst the legal limit for tread depth is 1.6mm we recommend that you replace your tyres once they reach 2mm. If you have a Fleet Evolution maintenance package and any of your tyres have reached 2mm please call us to arrange replacement.
For guidance on all routine checks, please refer to your vehicle manufacturer’s handbook which is typically located within your glove box, for any queries if you are a Fleet Evolution customer then you always have the option of calling our friendly Operations team (0300 302 0540) who will only be happy to help you further.
A Well-Stocked Car
As well as keeping on top of your maintenance, it’s important to make sure you are prepared for the conditions. Here are a couple of extras that it’s useful to have in the boot in case of emergency.
- Spare warm clothes, including hats and gloves
- A blanket
- High-visibility vest or jacket
- Snacks and water
- Slightly more fuel than you need so you can use heating and charge a phone if needed in an emergency
Tags : car maintenance, winter, winter driving