Know-how: Preparing for winter
Tips on how to prepare your vehicle for the winter.
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Intro – voice over and/or stills
Winter is just around the corner - the weather will deteriorate and driving conditions become more hazardous.
With this in mind, RAC has some advice to help you prepare your car in case we have a harsh winter again
Motorists are 50% more likely to breakdown at home in winter
At the peak RAC received a call for assistance every 1.2 seconds
RAC received over 1.3 millions calls and attended over 750,000 breakdowns
Quick checks to make sure you’re ready:
First and foremost, it’s important to check the coolant level – the last thing you need is a frozen engine or for your car to overheat. Although it’s a sealed system and shouldn’t need to be topped up, you should always double check when the engine is cold and look in your handbook for the correct coolant and mix to use should you need to top it up.
Moving on, whilst checking levels, make sure you check your screen wash - again top the level up with a mix of screen wash additive and water to prevent the screen wash from freezing. There’s more muck and dirt on the roads during the winter, as well as salt, so its important to make sure you can keep your windscreen clean. And remember to keep topping the level up during the winter.
Whilst under the bonnet, check that the oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark and top up if necessary. (refer to the owners handbook or local dealer for the correct oil spec)
Check that the battery terminals and clean and tight, (clean corrosion off with hot water and apply petroleum jelly)
Have the charging system checked by your local garage, this will ensure the battery and system is working correctly.
Tyres are the only connection between you and the road so make sure you check your tyres for general wear and tear – cracks, splits or bulges, and, more importantly, tread depth. Although the minimum tread level is 1.6mm, during winter it’s advisable to have 3mm of tread on your tyres to help with traction and grip. Also ensure that you have the correct pressure in your tyres.
Lights – its vitally important to make sure not only that you can see where you’re going but also that other drivers can see you, Walk round your car and make sure all lights are working and that the lens covers are clean. Again lights get extremely dirty during the winter months so clean them on a regular basis.
Finally, take a look at the wiper blades. Wiper blades are not everlasting and need replacing from time to time. Check the blades for splits or cracks and replace if necessary. Wiper blades can get frozen to the windscreen – don’t pull them off as you will damage them but make sure you free them off either by using the demister or de-icer