As the mercury drops below zero and with cold weather warnings issued for parts of the UK, it’s time to make sure your car is winter ready.
So what do you need to know? Fuel tech company SulNOx Group PLC has these top 10 tips.
1. Check your battery
Cold weather makes it harder for an engine to turn over and also impacts on the battery’s power output. Combine this with the fact that you’ll also be using your lights and heater more and, if your battery is not in tip top condition, you could find yourself stranded on the side of the road. Car batteries usually last around five years – if yours is approaching that age or older, get it checked and, if necessary, replaced.
2. Top up the antifreeze
Engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, but over time the antifreeze component can become diluted, so make sure it’s topped up. You can test the effectiveness of your antifreeze with a testing kit.
Clean your windscreen inside and out. Make sure your windscreen wipers are clean and check them for any tears and make sure you top up your washers with screenwash that contains antifreeze.
4. Been seen
Check that all lights, indicators and rear reflectors are clean.
5. Check your tyres
You should always do this anyway, but it is even more important in icy conditions. The legal tread limit is 1.6mm, but having more can make a big difference to your steering and braking. Also make sure you check the tyre pressure, as the cold can have an impact on this.
6. Take care of your fuel
In cold weather, condensation occurs when water vapour comes in contact with a cold surface. The condensate water that forms on the walls of your fuel tank will run down and accumulate at the bottom which is particularly a problem with E10 petrol as the ethanol in E10 separates from the water. The fuel line then draws from this watery ethanol mixture. Preventing separation is key to avoid subsequent issues and you can do this by using SulNOxEco fuel conditioners each time you fill up.
7. Get a winter car service
If you don’t have time to take care of your car yourself, or if it is due a service soon anyway, get it done now. Many of the issues associated with the cold weather can be resolved with a good service.