7 simple vehicle checks to stay safer on the road this winter

Similar to Santa performing a service on his sleigh this Christmas, it’s a good idea to make some simple checks on your vehicle to stay safer on the roads during winter. Here are some key components which won’t cost you a penny to check.

1. Tyres

Keeping your tyres well-maintained is vital for the grip and traction required during the colder months. So to help you stay safer on the road, we recommend you check your rubbers every fortnight, and before long journeys.

You can find out the recommended tyre pressure in your vehicle manual or, in some cases, on the inside of your driver’s door. If you want to check your tread depth, insert a 20p coin at various places within your tyre tread to see whether the outer band of the coin is still visible. If it is, you’ll need to replace your tyres as it’s likely your tread doesn’t meet the 1.6mm legal limit.

2. Wiper blades

While we’re on the topic of rubbers, it’s also wise to check your wiper blades are free from any build-up of dirt, ice and road salt. As well as running your finger across each blade to check for splits, you should also test your wipers by spraying some washer fluid on your windscreen before you set off. For added peace of mind, we recommend you change your wiper blades every 12 months.

3. Screenwash

As obvious as it may seem, setting off in your vehicle without screenwash is a danger to you and other road users. For the winter months, make sure you use a product which is still effective at temperatures -15 degrees Celsius. This will prevent the problem of a solidified solution blocking your washer system.

4. Electrics

With minimal natural light during winter, you should check your headlights, brake lights and indicators are all functioning before hitting the road. Replacing any blown bulb is usually straightforward, but we’re here to help if you need a professional.

If none of your lights are working, you’ll probably need to replace your battery – especially if it’s more than three years old. If you live within a 5-mile radius of our garage, we can arrange a home visit to replace your battery and get you back on the road with minimal fuss.

5. Oil

To check your oil, use the dipstick and top up (with the correct oil) if necessary. Your vehicle handbook will give you instructions on how to top up your oil and where to locate your oil cap, which is usually clearly marked in yellow. With some vehicles, you’ll also receive a warning light on your dashboard if your oil needs topping up.

6. Brakes

Well-maintained brakes are essential at the best of times, let alone winter. So before you get behind the wheel, spend a few minutes to make a visual inspection of your brake discs by looking behind each wheel. If you notice any scoring or signs of corrosion, it’s best to get your discs and/or pads replaced. If in doubt, you can always book a FREE vehicle health check with our team.

7. Paintwork

Although it’s more of a superficial concern, grime, dirt and road salt create a corrosive substance that could eat away at your paintwork. As cold as it may be during winter, it’s worth braving the elements to give your vehicle a thorough clean. If a sponge and bucket isn’t your scene, you could always visit the local car wash.

Get in touch

If you have any questions about staying safe on the road during winter or would like to book a FREE vehicle health check, get in touch today by calling 01273 584987.