Essential Car Maintenance – Don’t be caught out in the cold this winter!

Essential Car Maintenance – Don’t be caught out in the cold this winter!

We now find ourselves nearing the end of 2015. Summer is just a distant memory. With the cold Winter season almost upon us, it is probably a good time to brush up on some routine car maintenance to make sure we all make it through to the Spring without any avoidable car failures!

The Basics:

CHECK YOUR OIL:

and change it when it is necessary. Your car may have a dipstick to check the oil’s color and oil level or it could come with an electronic gauge. Either way, you should know how to check it. Knowing the difference between clean oil and muddy, murky oil will save you plenty of money on unnecessary changes and can indicate if something’s wrong with your engine (e.g. You just had the oil changed but the oil looks terrible)

CHECK YOUR TYRES:

The minimum tyre tread depth required by law is 1.6mm, however Permonth recommends a 3mm minimum for safe winter driving. If budget allows, purchasing a set of winter tyres will improve car control in poorer driving conditions. Regularly checking your tyre pressure is also crucial. Tyres with the wrong pressure can suffer from increased tyre wear and can affect fuel consumption too. Check your car manufacturer’s handbook to determine the correct pressure and keep your tyres at that level.

CHECK YOUR FLUIDS:

If you don’t know how to already, learn to change your vehicles fluids eg. antifreeze, power steering, coolant, and even your wiper fluid. It will save you a fair amount compared to getting your local garage to change it all for you. In terms of checking your fluids, you’ll most likely see the tank levels directly so you can check current levels against a notch that indicates optimal levels. If you’re running low, top it up or get it changed. Most importantly, don’t ignore any leaks.

 

WINTER CAR EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST:

 

Carrying an emergency kit in your car throughout the winter might seem a bit extreme, but if you find yourself stranded out on the roads you’ll be glad of it. Permonth recommend:

 

  • A mobile phone and charger
  • A hazard warning triangle
  • Hi-visibility vest
  • A first aid kit
  • De-icer and a scraper
  • A shovel
  • A tow rope
  • Wellington boots
  • A torch and spare batteries
  • Warm clothes
  • Food and drink

 

 

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