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How do I maintain my petrol / diesel car in the winter?

04/12/2023

How do I maintain my petrol / diesel car in the winter?

Our last blog shared how to care for your electric car in the cold weather. Now it's time for us to share tips for your petrol / diesel vehicle.

Winter weather can be harsh on vehicles, and it's important to perform regular maintenance to keep your car running smoothly and ensure safety during colder months. Here are some essential car maintenance tips for the winter:

  • Check the Battery:
    • Cold weather can be tough on car batteries. Ensure that your battery is in good condition, and if it's more than a few years old, consider having it tested or replaced.

 

  • Inspect the Antifreeze/Coolant:
    • Make sure the coolant in your radiator is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water. This mixture helps prevent the coolant from freezing in cold temperatures.

 

  • Check the Engine Oil:
    • Cold weather can affect the viscosity of engine oil. Use the oil viscosity recommended by your car's manufacturer for winter conditions.

 

  • Examine the Tyres:
    • Check tyre pressure regularly and keep them properly inflated. Cold temperatures can cause tyre pressure to drop. Consider using winter tires for improved traction on snow and ice.

 

  • Inspect the Brakes:
    • Ensure that your brakes are in good condition. If you notice any issues such as squeaking or reduced braking performance, have them checked by a professional.

 

  • Windscreen Wipers and Washer Fluid:
    • Replace worn-out  wipers and fill up the washer fluid reservoir with a winter-grade solution that won't freeze.

 

  • Check the Lights:
    • Check all exterior lights are working properly, including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and hazards. Winter days are shorter, so good visibility is crucial.

 

  • Inspect the Exhaust System:
    • Check for leaks in the exhaust system, as snow and ice can amplify the risk of carbon monoxide entering the vehicle.

 

  • Test the Heater and Defroster:
    • Make sure your car's heater and defroster are working efficiently to keep you warm and maintain good visibility.

 

  • Inspect Belts and Hoses:
    • Cold temperatures can make belts and hoses more brittle. Inspect them for signs of wear and replace as needed.

 

  • Battery Terminals and Cables:
    • Clean the battery terminals and cable ends to ensure a good electrical connection. Consider using a corrosion inhibitor to protect against corrosion.

 

  • Carry an Emergency Kit:
    • Keep an emergency kit in your car with items like a blanket, flashlight, extra gloves, a shovel, water and snacks.

 

  • Check the 4WD or AWD System (if applicable):
    • If your car has a 4WD (four-wheel drive) or AWD (all-wheel drive) system, make sure it's working properly, especially if you anticipate driving in snowy or icy conditions.

 

  • Keep your fuel topped up 
    • Try to keep your tank at least half full during the winter. This helps prevent the fuel line from freezing and provides a margin of safety in case you get stranded.

By following these winter car maintenance tips, you can help ensure that your vehicle is prepared for the challenges of colder weather, reducing the risk of breakdowns and enhancing overall safety on the road.