Winter car maintenance must dos: The ultimate seasonal guide
Car maintenance is all about being proactive and ensuring your vehicle’s ready to handle the challenges that come with the changing seasons.
With these top tips from Motorway, you can keep your car in tip-top condition, maintain the value of your car, and enjoy the beauty of each season without any unexpected automotive woes. A little prep will see you cruising through all four seasons, worry-free.
But sometimes, damage to your car can be unexpected. Potholes driving you potty? Conkers got you going bonkers? Find out why it’s important to keep on top of regular maintenance, and when the time’s right, how to sell your car, the easy, stress-free way.
Winter car maintenance
As we approach the darkest night of the year, we’re into the darkest depths of winter. These cold and wet conditions will put extra strain on your car.
Winter brings a unique set of challenges and considerations when it comes to vehicle maintenance. Roads can become dangerously slippery, with wet leaves or obscure sheets of ice, while colder temperatures may well dip below freezing.
Taking a few extra steps to ensure your car is in top condition can go a long way in preventing breakdowns and keeping you safe on the road.
Check your tires
One of the most critical aspects of autumn car maintenance is checking your tires. The changing weather conditions can make roads slippery, so having proper tire traction is essential.
- Inspect tread depth: Use the penny test or a tire tread depth gauge to ensure your tires have at least 1.59mm of tread. If they are below this threshold, it’s time to replace them.
- Check tyre pressure: Cooler temperatures can cause tire pressure to drop. Make sure all tires, including the spare, are inflated to the recommended levels listed in your owner’s manual.
- Consider winter tyres: If you live in an area with harsh winters, investing in winter tires can greatly improve your car’s traction on snow and ice.
Examine your brakes
Your brakes are crucial for safe driving year-round, but they’re especially important in slippery autumnal and wintery conditions.
- Check brake pads: Inspect your brake pads for wear. If they are less than 6.35mm thick, it’s time to replace them.
- Look for signs of wear: Listen for any squeaking or grinding noises when you apply the brakes, as these can be indicators of worn brake components.
Replace worn wiper blades
There’s nothing worse than a squeaky or rough wiper blade struggling its way over your windscreen. Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition to bat away the falling leaves and driving rain, and replace old wipers if they streak, creak or leave behind residue.
Test your heater and defroster
With cooler temperatures on the horizon, it’s essential to make sure your car’s heater and defroster are working correctly. A functional heater will keep you warm, while a working defroster is vital for maintaining visibility in cold mornings.
Change the oil and check fluids
Regular oil changes are essential for your engine’s health. Check and top up other essential fluids like coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid to prevent any issues during autumn and winter driving.
Inspect your battery
Cold weather can put added stress on your car's battery. Have your battery tested to ensure it’s in good condition and replace it if it’s getting old or weak.
Clean your exterior
Autumn leaves, rain, and road grime can quickly build up on your car’s exterior. Regularly wash and wax your vehicle to protect the paint from rust and staining, and maintain its appearance.
Prepare an emergency kit
You don’t want to be caught short, so assemble an emergency kit that includes items like a flashlight, blankets, jumper cables, and basic tools. You never know when you might need these items, especially in the colder seasons.
Time for a new car?
Preventative maintenance and carrying out regular checks will keep your car safe and on the road over winter. But perhaps you feel the time is right to get something a little newer.
That’s where our partnership with Motorway comes in. Simply enter your registration and you’ll get an instant valuation and offers from a network of over 5,000 trusted dealers. Hit the button below to get started.