News Blog from Autospark

Don't Get Caught in the Cold - 5 Ways to Prepare Your Car for This Winter with a Trusted Auto Electrician

JUNE 2015

With the cold season only just around the corner, now is the best time to start preparing your car for a safe and reliable journey this winter. There's nothing more inconvenient than being stuck on the side of the road with a broken down car or dead battery on a cold and windy day. The good news, being prepared doesn't need to take too much effort either.

As a car owner, it's absolutely imperative to safeguard your vehicle for the wet season to avoid all possible issues. Not to mention, it's the most important part of safe driving and responsibility too. With so many conveniences on today's vehicles, it's not uncommon for drivers to take for granted their dependability. This is why regular check-ups and car services with your local trusted auto electrician are vital.

Recent studies from the Road Weather Management Program show car accidents are the number one cause of death during winter storms, with an average of 1,312,000 weather-related vehicle crashes a year. With the right vehicle preparation conducted by a trusted auto electrician, we can work in reducing this figure and keeping our roads safe, and our vehicles reliable this season. Do your bit this winter with these essential car preparation tips.

1. Maintain Your Car's Heating

There's nothing more frustrating than being stuck in a car on a cold winter's day without heating. Many drivers take their air conditioning and heating units for granted in their vehicles, but you'd be surprised about how much maintenance and TLC it needs to run effectively. Some drivers believe that the less they use their car heating system, the better. But one of the biggest reasons it does break down is because it's not used regularly.

The best way you can maintain your car's heating and cooling system is by using it throughout the year, at least once a week. If you're running it weekly for about 10 minutes the gas pressure is better maintained. Every few years, you'll want to get your system re-gassed, lubricated, cleaned and checked for leaks by a trusted auto electrician. It's important you don't wait until something goes wrong before a professional service. Instead, get a comprehensive check every year to stay on top of it.

2. Give Your Battery a Little TLC

Batteries seldom give warning before they fail and it's happened to you before, you'll agree there's never a convenient time for them to die. Your car battery, electrical system and engine are key for a reliable and safe performing car, so giving them all regular TLC is essential to its survival and longevity. Extreme cold can reduce the effectiveness of your car's battery by up to 50%, so it definitely pays to have your battery checked by a professional before the wet season hits.

By getting your vehicle serviced now, you'll be able to make sure your battery's connections are corrosion free and check its running up to scratch. For car batteries more than 3 years old, it's ideal to have a certified auto electrician to test its ability to hold charge. If it's time to purchase a new car battery, make sure you opt for quality. Chances are, it'll avoid any jump-start vehicle scenarios in the middle of a blizzard too!

3. Importance of Tyre Wear and Pressure

Keeping your tyres in perfect working condition is significantly important for the safety of your vehicle, especially in the cooler and wetter months. Tyres that are well maintained, properly inflated and have the right amount of thread depth can prevent such emergency events as tyre blowouts, tread separations and the effects of adhesion of your vehicle on wet roads.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), it's recommended that tyres are changed once the thread reaches 3mm in depth. Bear in mind too, the legal requirement for a safe tyre can vary from country to country. The pressure of your vehicle's tyres also affects car and road safety, as it's your actual tyres that work in stopping the car. Thus, car tyres should be thoroughly checked by your auto technician to ensure they are safe for the upcoming wet season.

4. Get Your Brakes Checked

Brakes play an important role in the safety of your vehicle, despite the fact it's actually your tyres that stop the car. Brakes work by stopping the tyres, so you'll want to make sure they are safe too. In most cases, you'll be able to hear and feel when your car's brakes are due for service, but it's ideal to have them checked before they get to that stage at a regular car service check-up.

5. Radiator System Health Check

Dangerous driving problems throughout winter can be easily avoided with the right maintenance on your vehicle. A radiator system health check is one of the best ways to prepare your car for the cooler months. Have your car's radiator system serviced by a trusted auto electrician or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester.

Antifreeze is essential to providing a clean and effective freeze protection, but most importantly it needs to be balanced. Adding the wrong amount to your radiator system can do more harm than good, so if you're unsure it's best to leave it to the professionals. To help prepare your car this winter, contact us today for a full vehicle service or advice on what products and services are best for your vehicle.

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