Is Your Vehicle Winter Ready?
Is Your Vehicle Winter Ready?
It is easy to overlook how dependent so many of us are on our vehicles, so we need to make sure they are Winter Ready. We rely on our vehicles to keep us and our passengers safe and comfortable as we journey to our many destinations. It is equally easy to forget that cars require seasonal maintenance in order to continue to deliver the performance we expect and depend on. As fall becomes winter, your vehicle’s maintenance needs will change.
To keep your car running optimally in the colder months ahead, we recommend properly winterizing your vehicle. Between potential hazards like ice or snow and longer, darker nights, properly winterizing your vehicle will provide increased safety, comfort and peace of mind to you and your passengers.
When it comes to your safety on the road, the condition of your tyres is paramount. Your tyres are the first line of defence between yourself and the road. Check the tread depth of each tyre, inspect each tire for uneven wear and make sure your tires are in alignment. If you suspect your wheels are out of alignment, get them fixed.
Extreme cold weather is particularly tough on your vehicle’s battery. During periods of cold weather, your vehicle’s starter pulls more amperage in order to start. If your battery is already weak, this extra draw could result in a dead battery. Check the warranty on your battery to understand its life expectancy. If the end of its life is approaching, we recommend replacing your car battery before the cold winter months’ finish it off, leaving you stranded.
One of the few things we tend to remember when it comes to car maintenance is the importance of changing our motor oil. What we may not know is that an engine’s oil viscosity becomes thicker in cold weather. The thickened motor oil makes it more difficult for the engine oil to flow quickly to all of your engine’s vital components which can result in major problems if you use the wrong oil.
As odd as it sounds based on its name, coolant (also commonly referred to as antifreeze) actually generates heat as it circulates through your vehicle’s cooling system. It is due to this heat that, over time, coolant evaporates. It is important to check your coolant level. If your coolant level looks low, you may need a top up.
Belts and Hoses
Belts and hoses are heavily used engine components that experience extreme wear and tear. As the weather changes, the tendency of these components to crack, swell and become laden with dry rot increases. Check your hoses and belts for wear and tear or bring them to Balbriggan Service Centre for an evaluation.
High-functioning wipers are imperative in the winter months. How else can you effectively wipe away the snow that is sure to amount on your windscreen? The heat of the summer is known to actively deteriorate the quality of your wiper blades, leaving them in a state that is the complete opposite of winter ready. If your wipers are not wiping clean on your windscreen, they should be replaced. Check your blades. If they are worn, ripped, torn, cracked or chattering on contact with your windscreen, they will not provide you with the streak free wiping you will need to be safe in the winter. Always replace windshield wipers in pairs.
Are your headlights shining as brightly as they should be? Fully operational headlights are critical to safe winter driving. If you believe your headlights are candidates for restoration, call up to Balbriggan Service Centre and we can check, supply and replace.