Tips For Preparing You Vehicle For UK Winter

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Phil West

Pegasus Couriers Director

Get Your Vehicle Winter-Ready! Don't Get Caught Off Guard by the Cold Weather! In this article, Pegaus Couriers Director Phil West walks you through essential winter vehicle tips to minimise a breakdown.

When it comes to winter driving, ensuring your vehicle is in top-notch condition is crucial. The last thing you want is to be stranded on the road due to weather-related issues. Read some essential winter vehicle checks to help you stay safe and avoid unnecessary hassles.

Get Your Vehicle Winter-ready

We all know how important it is to take care of our vehicles, but sometimes we overlook the little things that can make a big difference.
Don’t let the cold weather catch you off guard this winter. Start preparing your vehicle for winter icy conditions now.
With some simple vehicle checks and preparations, you can avoid hassle and breakdown situations while staying safe on the road this winter.

Screenwash For Your Vehicle

To prepare your car or van for winter, regularly check the screenwash bottle and top it up. This is one of the easiest and most important winter vehicle maintenance tips to avoid the cold weather blues. Use at least 50% undiluted screenwash to prevent freezing and maintain clear visibility on the road. 

Working Vehicle Lights Are Essential

Poorly functioning lights could mean the difference between being seen by other drivers or struggling to see the road ahead yourself.
So, how can you make sure your lights are in good shape? It’s actually quite simple. Just take a few minutes to do some basic checks. Turn on your headlights and walk around your vehicle to make sure they are all working. Don’t forget to check your indicators and brake lights too. If you notice any bulbs that are out, don’t panic – just replace them with a spare set that you keep handy.

Maintaining Windscreen Wipers

Regularly check your windscreen wipers to ensure they are in good working order. Wiper blade maintenance is crucial for maintaining clear visibility during winter driving. Inspect the blades for any signs of damage, such as cracks or tears. If the blades are worn or not clearing the windshield effectively, it may be time for windshield wiper replacement. When replacing the blades, choose the right size and type for your vehicle. To maintain the longevity of your wiper blades, clean them regularly with a mild detergent and warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the rubber. 

Basic Frequently Asked Questions

To avoid a flat battery in cold weather, check regularly for any signs of wear or corrosion. Keep your vehicle parked in a covered area when possible, and consider using a battery maintainer or charger to keep it charged.

To check and top up your engine coolant, locate the coolant reservoir and remove the cap when the engine is cool. Add a mixture of antifreeze and water to the "full" line. Remember to perform regular radiator maintenance for optimal performance.

To check the screen wash in your vehicle, locate the reservoir and remove the cap. Use a dipstick or the markings on the side to ensure the level is within range. Top up, if necessary, with a quality screen wash additive for better winter visibility.

To properly check your lights and bulbs, verify the alignment and clean the headlights. Inspect the electrical connections for any signs of damage or corrosion. Test the functionality of your fog lights. Replace any faulty bulbs promptly to ensure optimal visibility on the road.

When assessing your tyres, consider the tread depth for traction, inspect for wear and tear, rotate them regularly, check for punctures, and ensure proper inflation.

Ensuring Proper Tyre Tread

You should aim for at least 3mm of tread on all your tyres to ensure good grip on icy roads. Tyre maintenance is crucial during winter, as icy and slippery conditions can make driving more challenging. Regularly check your tyres every few weeks to ensure they are in good condition. Adequate tread is essential for optimal grip, especially on icy roads. It’s also important to check for any splits or changes in tyre pressure, as temperature variations can affect the rubber in tyres. By maintaining your tyres properly, you can ensure safer winter driving. 

Consider All-Season or Winter Tyres

Winter tyres are designed to perform in cold weather conditions, offering better traction and control than all-season tyres. They have deeper tread patterns and unique rubber compounds that stay flexible in freezing temperatures, improving grip on slippery surfaces. The benefits of using winter tyres include enhanced braking performance, better handling, and increased stability on snow and ice. When choosing the right winter tyres for your vehicle, consider size, tread pattern, and load capacity. Look for tyres with the mountain snowflake symbol, indicating they meet the industry’s severe snow service standards. Additionally, consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specific tyre recommendations. By investing in winter tyres, you can ensure safer and more confident driving in winter conditions.

Check Your Oil To Avoid Engine Damage

The oil is one of your vehicle’s most essential elements. It keeps all the engine’s parts moving and stops them from wearing too quickly. To avoid issues, you need to check your engine oil level regularly. Before doing this, park your vehicle on level ground and wait for the engine to cool. Use the dipstick to check the oil level and ensure it is between the minimum and maximum marks. Do not overfill the engine with oil, which can also cause damage.

Coolant Levels Are Critical

Regularly monitor the coolant levels in your vehicle to protect the engine from extreme cold temperatures and prevent costly damage. Coolant is crucial in regulating the engine’s temperature and preventing it from overheating or freezing during winter. Common coolant problems include leaks, low levels, or a poorly diluted mixture. By checking the coolant regularly, you can identify any issues early on and take necessary action. Maintaining the correct coolant level ensures optimal engine performance and prevents damage to vital components. Neglecting this simple task can lead to expensive repairs and engine failure. So, make it a habit to check the coolant regularly and address any problems promptly to keep your vehicle running smoothly.

Battery Health Check

Don’t forget a weak battery is one of the leading contributing causes of breakdowns, especially if it’s over five years old. Battery maintenance is crucial during winter to ensure your vehicle starts smoothly, even in cold weather. Common winter battery problems include reduced capacity and difficulty starting the engine. Cold weather weakens a fully charged battery by about 35%, making it more susceptible to failure. To prevent this, ensure your battery works effectively before winter hits. Have it checked by a professional if you experience trouble starting the vehicle or notice any signs of a weak battery, such as dim headlights or a slow crank.

Good Brakes Is Critical To Safety

Inspecting your brakes via a mechanic ensures their reliability and effectiveness during winter. Brake maintenance tips are crucial for keeping you safe on the road. Start by checking the brake fluid level and topping it up if necessary. Inspect the brake pads for wear and replace them if they are thin or worn down. Look out for signs of brake wear, such as squeaking or grinding noises, a vibrating brake pedal, or a longer stopping distance. It’s also important to check your brake rotors for any signs of warping or damage. Regularly cleaning your brakes and removing any debris will help maintain their performance. Remember, your brakes are your first line of defence in icy and slippery conditions, so keeping them in top shape is crucial.

Pegasus Couriers Fleet

Van safety is paramount to us at Pegasus Couriers. We have a team of fleet experts and on-site managers who are on call to assist drivers if they run into hassles. To fast-track this process, we have an internal network that provides drivers with all the helpful and emergency contact numbers should they find themselves broken down and in need of assistance.
It’s important to us to ensure that our drivers a hassle-free, safe driving experience.
By taking these steps, you can ensure that your vehicle is equipped to handle the challenges of winter driving. I have learnt over the years to ensure your vehicle is winter-ready to avoid the hassle of a potential breakdown – it is worth it.

Come be a part of the Pegasus Couriers Team!

We’re constantly on the lookout for talented drivers to join our growing family. At Pegasus Couriers, we believe in providing the best training, support, and chances for personal and professional growth. Being a growing business with a remarkable track record of success, we know what it takes to create a thriving work environment.

So why wait? Reach out to us today and let’s seize this amazing opportunity together!

You can either give us a call at 0131 287 1000 or visit our website to apply online.

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