Driving in the winter brings with it some added responsibilities. The days are shorter, the weather is colder and wetter and the whole experience of winter driving seems like a million miles away from its summertime equivalent.
It’s ironic then that just when we should be taking that bit more care with our cars the temptation is to ignore that strange bumping sound or turn the radio up a bit louder when you here that high pitched whine! Whether your car of choice is a Volvo, a VW or an Aston Martin there are a few checks that you should routinely make.
Rain is a major factor to consider when driving in the winter. It brings with it diminished visibility, less responsive handling and the possibility of aquaplaning. As well as slowing our speed and taking more notice of the conditions and other road users the importance of good quality tyres is essential.
Worn tyres are less likely to disperse any surface water on the road which is the cause of aquaplaning. It is advisable to get your tyres checked regularly. Either take your car to a garage or use a tyre-tread tool yourself.
A good set of wipers is also essential. The need to use them at full speed during the winter months increases and so the wear down quicker. Wipers on a Volvo wear the same as on an Aston Martin and again it is advisable to change them regularly.
Keep all windows and mirrors clean and make sure that your screen wash is kept topped up. Windows also get misted in the cold weather so check that the air vents and demister work.
The other major concern in winter is obviously snow. It is always advisable to keep a few choice items in the boot of the car in case you are caught out by a surprise fall of snow. A spade, wellington boots and a torch and spare batteries will come in handy if ever the snow fall is very heavy and you are forced to stop driving.
The importance of having the right equipment in the car increases for long journeys, in particular at night. Blankets, food and hot drinks can make all the difference.
Lights are particularly important. During the summer months it’s not necessary to use headlights as much, especially during the day, so it is easy for a broken or faulty bulb to get missed or overlooked.
A small item like an indicator light can be the difference between a safe, incident free journey and a miserable one. They are easy to replace and readily available at little cost. There are generic options or you can choose to buy the manufacturers brand whether that’s Volvo spares or Volkswagen spares it’s a small price to pay for piece of mind. It is also recommended to clean and maintain all contact points and terminals.
Engine checks are a must and with cars and their constituent parts more user friendly then ever there is no excuse for neglecting to carry out a few simple checks. The oil, oil and air filters and engine coolant all require regular checks and the smooth running of your car will benefit from replacements at least once a year. Correct levels and recommendations will be found in the car handbook or direct from the manufacturer.
Look after your car during the winter and it will look after you.
Dominic Donaldson is an expert in car maintenance. Find out more about Volvo spares and car maintenance.
Article Source: Whether It’s Volvo Spares Or Aston Martin Spares The Winter Is The Time To Stock Up