Ultimate Winter Car Maintenance Guide

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Winter weather can take its toll on your vehicle. You’ll want to make sure that your luxury car is in good working order when you come to sell it and nothing goes further than a little TLC.

We’ve put together a guide on the best ways to keep your car looking in fantastic condition and in excellent working order. Take a look below:

Test Your Battery

One of the most common issues concerning cars during the winter months is battery issues. A flat or faulty battery is a common cause of vehicle breakdowns and this increases during the winter. 

You should aim to charge your battery every three years if possible but it is always good to ensure your battery has a full charge before the winter and especially if it starts to cause you problems. 

Warning signs of a battery failure include the engine turning over more slowly than usual during starting or the right light on the dashboard may flicker or take a while for it to disappear after the car has started up. 

Check Your Brakes

As the roads start to freeze your brakes need to be in tip-top condition. If your brakes start to squeal or make noises then it’s time to get them checked. Test your brakes before you start your journey to ensure that they still work.

If you’ve left your car to sit on your driveway unused for a few days, make sure you start your journey slowly in case your discs, callipers or handbrake have frozen up. This will give your vehicle time to warm up these components but also allows you to be able to stop slowly if this is the case. 

Assess Your Tyres

Tyres should be kept in good condition all year round as worn down tyres are dangerous in any condition. Worn out tyres increase your stopping distance which will be impacted even more in icy, snowy or wet conditions. 

Tyres are required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm by law but in the winter, it is advised that you change your tyres to 3mm to continue with a safe stopping distance. Also, it’s advisable to carry a spare wheel with you just in case of emergencies. 

If you live in a rural area, consider buying some snow chains or winter tyres as conditions can be more treacherous in these areas. 

Keep Your Car Clean

Your car will get dirtier in the winter months due to rain, ice and the salt laid on the road. It’s important to keep your car clean on the outside to avoid additional damage. One area of the car that is particularly important to keep clean is the lights. 

You can lose around 40% of luminosity driving around 20 miles on a damp, gritted road which can be incredibly dangerous for you and other drivers on the road. 

You’ll also need to keep your licence plate clean as it is illegal to drive around with a covered licence number. You can face a hefty fine because of this. 

Road salt can cause a lot of damage to your vehicle including rusting the metalwork. You can prevent this by washing your vehicle regularly especially after snow. However, it is worth waiting to clean your car until the temperature rises as cold weather and water can also cause your vehicle to rust quicker than planned. Another easy way to keep your car clean and safe from the weather is to apply wax to your vehicle at least every 6 months. 

Check Oil Levels

Regularly checking your oil levels is commonplace when owning a car but in the winter you’ll need to make sure your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick. If your car is low on oil, this can lead to a breakdown or serious engine damage which will cost a lot of money to fix. Remember too much oil is just as bad a low-level oil. 

Keep Your Car Fueled

Your car should have plenty of fuel in the tank. Try to avoid leaving it until the petrol light comes on as you’ll use more fuel during the winter due to warming up your vehicle whilst you drive. Your fuel levels will also drop due to the temperature so keep the tank topped up. 

Staying on top of your car maintenance during the winter will be beneficial for your car and you. You’ll avoid having an unnecessary breakdown and your car will run smoothly all year long. 

Take a look at our other tips for cleaning your car using simple products.