Autumn has begun and the weather’s going to turn a lot colder as we head towards winter. This means that you will need to be aware of some extra problems that may arise with your car. The darker nights and colder mornings will make a lot of your car’s parts work harder this time of year. Below are the most common problems that you will face with your car, as well as how to overcome them.
If your car struggles to start during the colder weather then the chances are that there is some sort of problem with the battery. Lower temperatures really take their toll on the battery as it must cope with the extra demand from heaters, wipers, lights and in car accessories all at the same time. Car batteries are not as efficient when they are cold, so starting the car alone could be enough to significantly drain the battery.
If you are struggling to start your car on a cold morning, then try turning off all electronics, including your radio, heater, lights, wipers and mobile phone charger. Dip the clutch before you turn the key. Your car will then have a much better chance of starting.
Halfords offer a winter car check during the colder months, where they will check the efficiency of your battery as well as the oil level, lights, wipers and screen wash – completely free of charge.
Freezing Windows and Doors
When the really cold weather arrives your windows and doors can freeze shut and sometimes they can be extremely difficult to open. If your windows won’t open then the best thing to do is simply wait until your car has warmed up. If you can’t get your door open then the best idea is to use de-icer around the edge of the door to defrost it, otherwise you could break your door handles off!
As a preventative measure, it’s a good idea to put a small amount of car wax on rubber seals of your door as this will prevent them from sticking. Having a can of lock de-icer with you will also help if you’re unable to insert the key. Just remember that this needs to be stored outside of the car!
Fluids freezing inside your car can do a lot of damage to internal components, which can cost a lot of money to put right. Make sure that both your antifreeze and screen wash are topped up with a mix that is concentrated enough to remain liquid even during the coldest of winter weather.
As well as making sure that your screen wash is sufficiently topped up and of the right concentration, it’s paramount to ensure that your windscreen wiper blades are in good condition. This will ensure that you have clear vision even in the most treacherous of weather and road conditions.
Always make sure that your wipers are not frozen to the windscreen before you turn them on as well, otherwise you could do some costly damage to the motors. If you’re fortunate enough to have a car with automatic windscreen wipers, then it’s always a good idea to ensure that they are switched off before starting your car. You can buy windscreen frost guards which prevent the wipers from sticking to your windscreen, but a large piece of old cardboard will do just fine.
It’s just as important to be seen as it is to see other motorists. Therefore, now is a better time than ever to have a look around your car and replace any blown bulbs or lamps. It’s also a good idea to note the sizes of the bulbs in your car so that you can create your own spare bulb kit to prevent a simple blown bulb from becoming a major inconvenience. You can buy bulbs for all makes and models of car at Euro Car Parts, but be sure to check the Euro Car Parts store page for discount codes first!
As the cold weather sets in, the pressure in your car’s tyres will drop. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a leak or puncture, it’s just something that happens to air pressure in varying temperatures. You should check your tyre pressures weekly and at the beginning of any long journey anyway, but this is particularly important during colder months. Don’t forget to pump them up as necessary. While you’re there it’s a good idea to check the tread depth of your tyres. No fancy equipment needed, just a 20p piece.
The cold weather can really interrupt your travel plans, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions in order to both minimise disruption and to keep yourself and other motorists safe. It’s only a case of taking a few minutes every week to check that your vehicle is properly maintained and safe to drive.