Winter is the toughest season for car drivers. It’s the time of year when you need to pay the most attention to the condition of your car so you can stay safe and avoid car-related problems.
During the winter there are some parts on your car that will be put under high demand, these include:
Car batteries see a lot of use and abuse during the winter months as great pressure is put on them by winter driving conditions. Increased use of lights and windscreen wipers along with freezing temperatures is enough to put pay to any battery near the end of its usable life. Car batteries are designed to exacting specifications but they rarely last longer than about five to six years, so if you’ve not changed the battery for some time you might start to notice problems during the winter season.
There are some things you can do to help the battery survive the winter months. These include:
o Don’t turn on lights, wipers or even the radio before you start the car
o If the car is sat idle for long periods of time without being used you may have to keep the battery on trickle charge during cold conditions
o If you are only making frequent short journeys try to minimise the use of electrical components such as heated windscreens and air conditioning
o If the car doesn’t start first time don’t be tempted to keep turning the key as this will run the battery down. If the first start fails wait for about 20 seconds and try again.
Your windscreen wipers will see the most use during the winter months so a quick check of their condition once in a while won’t go amiss.
During the winter you need to make sure that your vision is clear at all times, and this relies heavily on your windscreen wipers being in a good state of repair. If the windscreen is frosty or iced-over don’t be tempted to use wipers before first clearing any snow or ice. This can be scraped away from the windscreen to restore vision.
If the wipers are turned on when they are frozen to the window the wiper rubber may be damaged or worse still the wiper motor may be damaged. Similarly make sure that the wipers are turned off before you stop the car at the end of a journey. If the wipers are left turned on when you start your car the next morning they may be ‘forced’ to move as soon as you turn the ignition on damaging the blades or the wiper motor.