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7 tips to keep your car running during winter

Kwik Fit | Monday 10th November 2014 4:00pm

Audi driving in snow

It is important to keep your car maintained throughout the year but this is especially important during the colder winter months when driving conditions become more hazardous and your car is more vulnerable to the elements.

With winter just around the corner, here are our top 7 tips to avoid getting caught out in the cold this season:

1) Check your tyres

Make sure your tyres are correctly inflated and have sufficient tread for optimum performance. The legal limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm but your braking distance increases significantly when your tyres get below 3mm particularly in wintery conditions including rain, ice and snow (find out how tread depth affects braking distance). For best results, consider swapping to winter tyres.

2) Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good working order

It can be difficult to see when driving in conditions such as snow and fog. Donít make your journey any harder than it already is this winter by having a dirty windscreen that you canít clear due to damaged wipers.

3) Top up your fluid levels

Make sure your windscreen washer bottle is filled up and has the correct concentration of screen wash. Screen wash helps prevent your washer fluid from freezing. Similarly, be sure to check your engine coolant. The antifreeze in your coolant protects your engine and prevents damage to vehicle pipework which can be caused when the liquid freezes and expands.

4) Check and replace any blown bulbs

Make sure all your lights including headlights, indicators and brake lights are working correctly. Remember, your lights donít just help you to see where you are going but also let other motorists know where you are on the road.

5) Get your battery checked out

Car batteries donít like the cold and setting your heating fans to full blast on a cold morning puts a severe strain on your car battery. Itís no wonder flat batteries are one of the main reasons for breakdown calls in the UK, especially in winter. At Kwik Fit we offer a free battery check giving you peace of mind that your battery is up to the task this winter.

6) Turn on your air con

Switching on your air conditioning may seem like a strange thing to suggest during the winter but the dry warm air produced by your car air conditioning system is the most effective way to demist your windscreen ensuring maximum visibility when you need it most. Also, regular use of your air conditioning in the winter ensures the system remains charged and still works effectively the following summer.

7) Do your bit

Checking the above items will help to ensure your car is ready for winter but as the driver you also need to make sure you are prepared. Adjust your driving style to suit the weather conditions. Always make sure you leave extra distance between yourself and other vehicles when driving in severe weather conditions including rain, fog, ice and snow.

If you are in any doubt, pop in to your local Kwik Fit centre. Our trained technicians will carry out a free winter safety check on your car and get you winter ready Ė thatís one less thing to worry about this winter. Find my nearest Kwik Fit centre.

Share with us your winter driving tips for a chance to win a Winter Driving Kit courtesy of Michelin! Visit the Kwik Fit Facebook page and share your tips for a chance to win. Hurry, competition ends 16th November.

Later this week, weíll take a look at the emergency kit to keep in your car this winter.


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