Ensuring your car is ready for winter

It’s fair to say I have had my share of minor car blunders since I hit the road 5 years ago. From locking the keys inside the car to flat tyres on the school run, I have been left a little red faced more than once.

I would be lying if I said I had a vast knowledge in car maintenance I tend to leave it to someone else and when it does go all wrong I call my dad. It was getting a little ridiculous though, I figured it was about time I got to grips with the basics for looking after your car. Especially now as we approach winter it is vital to ensure it is in tip top condition.

Here are the things to check for before you set off on you Christmas trips this year.

  1. Tyre Tread; The legal minimum of tread is 1.6mm which is roughly the same and the boarder of a 20 pence piece; use that as a measure and keep your tyres safe, you will also avoid the potential fine and points that go along with illegal tyres.
  2. Tyre Pressure; You’ll need to refer to your hand book for the recommended pressure for your car and get down to a local garage or petrol station air is free people there really is no excuse.
  3. Coolant and oil levels; Make sure you check these regularly and especially before a long journey. Modern cars have an oil light on the inside this doesn’t usually come on until it is too late so the ‘dip stick’ method is your safest bet.
  4. Lights;  Seems obvious but if you are at all like me it’s not until those dark early night set in that you start to notice a bulb has gone. Keep an eye out for this and avoid getting pulled over and potentially receiving a fine.
  5. Battery; A car battery failing will usually be down to its age. If you have any concerns before a long journey your local garage can carry out a quick and easy test to tell you if it’s on the way out.

So these are the basics; I wont be changing tyres by the road side any time soon but by being aware of these bits I am giving my self a much better chance of not falling into the sticky situation of waiting for breakdown people to come and save my skin. It is really important to keep on top of your car maintenance, especially in winter.

There are times when your car is just beyond being looked after and it isn’t going to last the winter – check out some great ways to trade in your car no matter the condition.

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