The British weather during winter can take a huge toll on your car. So, you’ll have to learn to winter-proof it. Here’s how you can do that:
Start by Checking Your Car Battery
Cold temperatures can deteriorate the performance of your car’s battery. In such situations, you’ll find it hard to start the engine. That’s because the engine requires more heat to get going in colder temperatures. Your car’s battery can’t provide that required amount of heat.
Check the battery’s terminals first. Make sure they are clean and tight. In case of terminal damage or corrosion, you might want to replace the battery entirely. Ideally, consider getting a replacement if the battery is more than five years old.
While checking and cleaning, disconnect the battery first. You can clean the terminals using a toothbrush and a mix of warm water with baking soda. Then, use a paper towel to dry the terminals.
Inspect the Tires
While inspecting the tires, look for cracks or splits. In England, your tread depth needs to be at least 1.6 mm. However, for the winter months, it’s best if you have a 3mm depth. That’ll allow you to have better control and grip.
It’s also vital that you maintain the correct tire pressure. The recommended PSI varies depending on the vehicle type and make. So, you’ll have to consult with your car’s manual for that.
Adding snow chains to the car’s tires will improve their grip on snowy and icy roads. Remove the chains as soon as the roads clear out. Otherwise, the chains can damage the tires.
Consider Using Winter Tires at Times
Switch to winter tires when temperatures in England fall below -46 degrees Celsius. So, you’ll have to keep an eye on the weather forecasts for this one, which you can do by visiting https://www.tomorrow.io/weather/GB/ENG/. These tires will work smoothly on snowy or icy roads.
Remember to switch back to regular tires once the temperature increases or the season changes. Consult with a weather app to check the weather forecasts once again to be sure of it. Winter tires can’t tolerate warm temperatures and wear out faster. Thus, you must switch them accordingly.
Check Your Car’s Fluid Levels
Check the levels of your car’s antifreeze, coolant, screenwash, engine oil, and fuel. The absence of any of these can affect the quality of your ride.
Your car will likely need more fuel than usual during winter. That’s because you’ll probably have your heater running when you’re driving. An occasional engine oil change might be necessary too, depending on how dirty the oil gets when you’re driving in the snow.
Clean the Windows and Lights
Clean the windscreen both from the inside as well as the outside. The same goes for the windows. Scarpe off all the snow and dirt. De-ice the windows if you’re not using a car cover.
You should also check for cracks on your windscreen. Use a sealant, or have an expert inspect the windscreen for you. You don’t want to take any risk by driving with a damaged windscreen.
Buy Yourself a Winter Car Cover
You’ll never feel like you need a car cover until you’re stuck outside your home de-icing your car windows.
A car cover will stop your car’s fluids from freezing. The cover will further save you time on a snowy morning since you don’t have to de-ice the windows. You can simply take the cover off, and your car will be fresh and dry.
Another advantage of using a car cover is that it can protect the car from salt. Your neighbors (perhaps you too) will spread salt around residential properties to melt the snow. A sturdy car cover will make sure none of that salt gets on your car.
Prepare a Winter Car Survival Kit
A winter car survival kit will act as an emergency kit in case your car breaks down.
Inside the emergency kit, pack a small shovel, torch, jump leads, tow rope, and a warning triangle. For medical emergencies, have a separate first aid kit. You should also keep a spare carpet to get your tires spinning again if they’re stuck in the snow.
A phone charger with a fully-charged portable power bank should also be present in your car.
In addition to these, keep a spare coat, and a pair of boots inside your car. Also, pack a high-visibility jacket. They’ll come in handy when you’re stuck in the middle of the road, and can’t get out on your own. Packing a few breakfast bars or high-nutrition bars in the survival kit is also a good idea.
Following all these steps will help you winter-proof your car with ease. Ultimately, you’ll enjoy a comfortable driving experience in England even during the coldest of winters.