THERE’S a sharp increase in the number of car breakdowns when the weather turns cold, says the RAC.
So get your motor prepared for when the winter sets in by carrying out some essential checks.Get your motor prepared for when the winter sets in by carrying out some essential checks[/caption]
A few simple steps could save you a fortune on emergency recovery or last-minute repairs.
Ashley Johnson, of car dealers Parkland Motors, gives his expert tips . . .
ANTI-HERO: Topping up the antifreeze in your engine coolant is an absolute must before temperatures start dropping into minus figures, to stop freezing in the engine.
Engine coolant needs to be a mix of 50 per cent water and 50 per cent antifreeze.
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But it becomes diluted over time as you top up the engine with water throughout the year, making it less effective.
TEST TYRES: When it’s icy and slippery on the roads, tyres with good tread at the right pressure are the difference between navigating slippery roads and skidding into an accident.
Make sure there’s a depth of 3mm, not just the legal minimum of 1.6mm, as this will give you better grip.
Find the correct pressure for your car’s make and model, which should be in the manual, on a sticker on the driver’s side door or in the fuel filler cap.
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CLEAN LIGHTS: Grubby headlights, fog lights, indicators or rear reflectors can hinder your visibility — and the visibility of you to other drivers.
As winter nights start drawing in much earlier, it’s dark on the roads for much longer, so properly working lights are crucial.
SCREEN CHECK: The fluid that cleans the windscreen also needs to be topped up with antifreeze.
Give your windscreen a thorough clean inside and out, checking for any chips which can get worse in cold weather.
Inspect your wiper blades for any nicks or tears.
You don’t want your windscreen or wipers to fail if you are caught in a blizzard.
GET KITTED OUT: Make sure you have a winter car kit prepared in the event you do breakdown.
In case you get stuck waiting for help, you should pack a phone charger, small shovel, hazard sign, warm blanket, drinking water, snack bars, first aid kit, torch and spare batteries.
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