Well ladies now all the fun stuff about winter (presies, food, drink, better-ish telly) is well and truly out of the way we thought we would catch up with you to give you some tips on the much less fun side of winter… the weather!! In particular, looking after your car in the harsher weather.
None of us like driving in the ice and rain and there is still plenty more of that to come, in fact last week we here at Bookshelf Boyfriend Towers experienced driving in ice, rain, sleet and hail stones, all in one day! However, if your car is in good shape in the winter it can help make driving in the miserable months easier and less dangerous.
- It is worth covering your windscreen every night on the inside and outside with newspaper to prevent icing up. Be sure to lift up your windscreen wipers though and place them above the newspaper.
Everyone has their own methods of getting rid of ice on the windscreen but here at Bookshelf Boyfriend we think prevention is better than cure! This will save you lots of time and pain staking effort when you should be enjoying that one last cup of tea before leaving the house.
Saying that, there are some pretty good de-icing sprays on the market (see Halfords for examples) but please, no matter how tempting it is, don’t pour hot water on your windscreen! Although some people swear by it the risk of cracking your windscreen just isn’t worth it.
- Make sure you always have a full bottle of winter screen-wash of the right concentration. The wash will help prevent the freezing of your car’s screen wash tanks and tubes and prevent nozzles from freezing. And very importantly it will effectively clean the windscreen of typical winter dirt such as residue from ice on the roads, heavy rain and snow.
As visibility in the winter is so important it is essential to check your windscreen wipers for wear and tear. It is worth replacing them once a year to avoid problems.
To do it yourself see Bookshelf Boyfriend’s guide How to Replace Your Windscreen Wipers, or if you don’t fancy getting your hands cold in this weather, pop along to Halfords where they’ll fit them for you for a small charge.
- Check your battery frequently- low temperature can cause discharge (no we don’t like that word either!) Also driving in dark conditions can run the battery down so if your battery is more than five years old it is worth changing it before you’re stranded on some dark roadside in cold!
See BB’s tips on how to keep your battery well charged and what to do if your red battery warning light comes on – kindly provided by Foxy Lady Drivers.
Bookshelf Boyfriend also has a straight forward guide to show you how to replace your car battery yourself (it should take about 20 mins to do).
- Checking your tyres in winter is very important. If you know you are going to be traveling long distances in adverse weather conditions it may be worth investing in some winter tyres.
Tyre awareness in this country is pretty low so most people don’t change their tyres in winter, but the extra gripping providing could be life saving.
Even if you decide not to change your tyres please do check them regularly for wearing, balding, alignment and pressure. Improperly inflated tyres can reduce gripping!!
- And whilst we’re talking about tyres, just in case the worst happens, you should know what to do when you get a puncture and how to change a flat tyre.
- Check your oil regularly, particularly for consistency, as the cold has a tendency to thicken it.
BB has advice on necessary checks that even the laziest ladies should be carrying out regularly…
- Salt can cause corrosion so washing will protect the chassis, the body work and the tyres. Its an awful thought having to stand on the street with your hands immersed in water on a cold winter Saturday, but do wash your car regularly. Nip down to your local carwash or (our favourite) boost some local kids’ pocket money and get them to do it for you!
- Check your lights very regularly. If they are not in good working condition then you will have lower visibility… This is not good at any time of the year but especially not in winter, when it feels we spend half our lives driving in the dark!
- And last but not least- check your break pads! If they are worn they are no good to you. Again if you know you are going to be driving lots in the winter it is worth getting your breaks professionally inspected to ENSURE immediate response in icy or skiddy situations.
Following the above guide should mean that after a hard day’s work you’ll be sipping cocoa in front of Corrie in no time, as opposed to stranded on the motorway with nothing but star jumps to keep you warm!
And if you don’t trust us girls, or you want some advice from a highway hunk – check out what Adam Ashmore, the AA’s Patrol of the Year, has to say about it!
For more handy car maintenance tips and all sorts of other practical advice, hints and how-tos, read our car pages.
See our latest article with tips on How to winter-proof your car here!