For many people in the UK, the realisation that winter is on its way has hit home in the last couple of weeks, with temperatures beginning to drop, wet weather arriving and the nights drawing in.
As the temperatures begin to drop it is important for you to begin thinking about preparing your vehicle for the winter months, as the last thing you need on a morning is to be confronted by an unexpected frost and not be completely prepared for the challenges driving in the dark, cold and damp winter months presents.
Spending some time now to get ahead of the game and get your car in good working order will pay off in the long run and it really is simple to get your vehicle prepared.
According to Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council: "Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety, reliability and fewer unexpected repairs when severe winter weather strikes."
So, what should you be looking out for and maintaining ahead of the winter months.
The battery is often ignored by motorists until it stops doing its job, but this should not be the case. Checking your battery is vital, particularly ahead of winter, when the cold weather can have a dramatic effect on the component.
Keeping the connections clean, tight and corrosion-free is important and its always worth checking the charging system. If your battery is more than three years old then it may be worth thinking about replacing it with a new model, as they tend to not give any warning signs and just give up the ghost when you're least expecting it.
Tyres are some of the most important areas of your car, particularly during winter when they can prevent you from having a collision with another road user. Checking the tyre pressure, tread depth and for any damage, such as bulges, blisters and cracks is vital ahead of the winter months.
If you've had problems in your area with severe snowfall and icy conditions it may be worth considering buying some winter tyres. Summer tyres lose some of their performance in temperatures below 7C, so it may be worth investing in products designed to perform in the cold conditions of the UK winter.
In damp or frozen road conditions, brakes are vital and it's important to have your system checked. This generally means a visit to a local car centre where a trained technician can give your vehicle a once over and ensure the brakes are in good working order.
As brakes are absolutely critical to vehicle and road safety it is advisable to consult a professional, so you have the peace of mind your vehicle will stop when you want it to.
Wiper blades and air conditioning
Checking that the air conditioning is working properly in a vehicle is vital as heating and cooling performance is key to defrosting your car during the winter months.
Wiper blades are also vital, as torn or cracked blades will not clear a windscreen correctly. As a general rule wiper blades should be replaced every six months to ensure optimum performance. While checking the quality of these, you should also monitor screenwash levels and refill when necessary.
If you're concerned about checking your vehicle yourself, you can always book your pride and joy in for a winter car check.
Posted by Danielle Barge