Besides checking the weather, it’s important to have a mechanic check the condition of the following vehicle systems before heading out on the road, some of these checks can be done at home but in most cases it’s better to rely on a reputable local garage, like Bolton Tyre and Exhaust, to check you car properly. We offer a number of winter checks to help you prepare your vehicle for the winter months.
We offer a FREE drive-in Winter Check as a driver service. We will check the basics for you to give you some peace of mind including;
We can also offer a 10 point Seasonal Check* which is more detailed and we will check the things that can really let you down in Winter such as hoses and fan belts, tyres and anti freeze, this is our recommended, vehicle check to help make sure you and your vehicle is prepared for the Winter months. This includes checking;-
*Seasonal Service price does not include and parts or fluids required
Bolton Service Centre also offer a ‘Peace of Mind’ 25 point Full Winter Check Package. This entails a 25 point check and top up of any key fluids such as oil, brake fluid, anti-freeze etc.
The battery should be the first priority,” during the winter months it suffers from a double whammy of cold temperatures – reducing the output – and the increased use of lights, heater and blower, which place it under additional strain. Batteries have an effective life of around five years, if your car is having problems starting get the battery checked out and replaced if necessary.
Engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. You will need to top it up with antifreeze as it becomes diluted over time, people make the mistake of topping up with water during the year, so the antifreeze gets over-diluted and freezes during very cold weather, this can lead to the engine over-heating and a very large repair bill.
As a car’s tyres are key to both steering and braking, it is essential they are in good condition. Check tyres for pressure and tread depth, we recommend a minimum of 3mm depth during the winter, compared to the legal minimum of 1.6mm, as this gives better grip. You could also look at changing from summer to winter tyres, as these also offer increased group in snow slush or ice.
Check that all lights, indicators and rear reflectors are clean, make sure there are no cracked lenses or blown bulbs, check full beam headlights, fog lights and indicators.
Give your windscreen a thorough clean inside and out and top up your screen washer fluid with antifreeze, a simple tip is to run your finger down the wiper blades to check for nicks and tears, or if you have a ‘line’ across your windscreen after each time your wiper moves across, it may be time to replace it for a clearer view
Check for any chips in the windscreen, as these can grow in the cold weather. Also touch up any chips in the bodywork as the salt deposits on the road will attack these.
Before setting off on a longer journey, check the weather forecast, travel news and safest routes, also, allow extra journey time to avoid having to rush.
Clear all windows of snow and ice using a scraper and de-icer, and ensure you have antifreeze in your car
This should include a shovel, torch, blanket, hi-visibility vest, screenwash, food and drink supplies, scraper and de-icer, and snow grips for your shoes in case you need to walk to safety.
And don’t forget a fully charged mobile phone. “Drive according to the road and weather conditions,” says Mike Pickard from insurer Esure.
“Common sense needs to prevail to reduce the number of accidents, so slow down, stay alert, and stay in control.”
Are you a member of a driver organisation such as the RAC? Check your insurance, comprehensive breakdown cover is crucial at this time of year and will give you the peace of mind of knowing you won’t end up stranded in the cold.
So check your policy and remember to take a contact phone number with you on all journeys.
Also, keep at least a quarter of a tank of fuel in case of unexpected delay and check the oil. If you have a bit of motor know-how, check your brake pads, brake discs and brake fluid to ensure the brakes are fast and responsive. Ensure the fan belt and alternator drive belts are tight and not worn and that plugs and other leads are in good condition and secure.
If you don’t feel confident making these checks, Bolton Service Centre will be happy to help you, with any of the Winter Service packages listed above, if you need any further information, do please call us, we are here for you and have been for over 25 years.
In an emergency situation, in addition to a full tank of gas and fresh antifreeze, National Safety Council recommends having these with you at all times:
Winter road trips – even short ones – are a great way to celebrate with family and friends. Being prepared can ensure a safe and happy time is had by all.
*Price or service does not include any parts or fluids required or ordered
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