Did you know that road safety and vehicle maintenance are closely linked with car insurance premiums? This is because poor vehicle condition can ultimately lead to serious accidents.
Here are our Top 5 winter vehicle checks, to help you keep your car in tip-top condition, during these cold wintry months:
- Windscreens – check your car windscreen regularly. Changes in temperature can cause stone chips to crack, resulting in the car windscreen becoming unsafe and the vehicle illegal to drive. Contact us at OnlyYoungDrivers, to arrange for any stone-chips in your windscreen to be repaired ASAP.
- Tyres – Check the tyre treads of your vehicle regularly. At OnlyYoungDrivers, we recommend at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. If you need to change your tyres, consider buying winter or all season tyres, which provide better grip during cold and wet conditions. Don’t reduce your tyre pressures for more grip on the roads – it doesn’t work and reduces stability. Keep your tyre pressures at the recommended level for your car.
- Battery & Electrics – Keep battery usage to a minimum. Lights, heaters, and wipers put high demands on a car battery. Once screens have cleared on a journey, switch fans down to low and switch off heated rear/side window controls. Before starting your engine, check that lights, wipers, and heaters are switched off. If your battery is 5 years old+, consider replacing it.
- Antifreeze – When starting your engine, you discover a continuous squealing noise, your antifreeze may have become frozen. The noise is the fan belt slipping on the pulley. The cylinder block could be frozen too. Stop the engine immediately and allow it time to defrost. Also, if you find your car overheating, it could be that the antifreeze within your car’s radiator has frozen which will stop the coolant from circulating, causing the car to overheat. Again, allow the coolant time to thaw and stop the vehicle immediately to prevent serious damage to the car’s engine. Antifreeze should be:
- A 50:50 mix of antifreeze and water – to keep the engine cool.
- Checked! – Check which antifreeze you are using in your vehicle. Some need changing after 2 years.
- Visibility – Check that all your windscreens and mirrors are clean and that your washer fluid bottle is topped up. Dirty windows and mirrors lead to poor visibility and could result in traffic accidents. Also, ensure that you clear any snow from your car roof before driving. Snow on your roof can fall forward onto your front windscreen, making driving very dangerous. Ensure that you check your windscreen wipers too and replace them regularly. Wipers should be switched off in the “park” position when leaving your vehicle, as leaving your wipers in the middle of the windscreen during a freeze, could result in them freezing to the windscreen and becoming damaged, when you switch the engine back on.
Spending just a few minutes, carrying out these top tips just once a week, could result in hassle-free and safe winter driving.