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Maintenance

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10 Things to Do to Get Your Car Ready for Winter

Accepting that winter is on the horizon is never particularly pleasant.  Especially when this also means acknowledging that the time has come to get your car or cars ready for the cold weather ahead.

On the plus side, dealing with everything ahead of time can be far less stressful than attempting to tick all necessary boxes at the last minute. So for those who prefer to take a proactive approach, here’s a quick rundown of 10 things to start doing right now to get your car ready for winter:

  1. First of all, you need to comprehensively check the condition and maintenance of your tyres. If there are any excessive signs of wear or damage, now’s the time to replace them.
  2. If you live in an area where winter driving conditions tend to be particularly severe, you might want to think about investing in specialist winter tyres. These can make an astonishing difference in terms of both performance and health and safety alike.
  3. Manufacturers typically recommend deflating tyres very slightly over the winter months. Check what’s recommended for your own vehicle and choice of tyres online.
  4. As for your battery, it’s worth remembering that cold weather can do a number on even the best batteries out there. Which means that if your own battery isn’t exactly reliable or in the best of health, you might want to get it sorted before the weather takes a turn for the worst.
  5. Never leave it until the last minute to replace the windscreen washer fluid in your bottle with a specialist winter product. If you do, you run the risk of the summer washer fluid freezing in the bottle and pipes, potentially destroying them in the process.
  6. The same also goes for antifreeze, as you don’t want to leave it too late and risk problems that can easily be avoided. Experts recommend refilling antifreeze once every three years, so be sure to keep an eye on this.
  7. Make sure your windscreen wiper blades are in the best possible condition. Given the way in which they will have to deal with much heavier punishment over the winter, now could be a good time to replace and upgrade your current wipers.
  8. Check that your fans and heaters are working appropriately, as you will be needing them to keep your windows and windscreen free from interior fog. For obvious reasons, anything that affects visibility negatively during the winter isn’t a good thing.
  9. Make sure that you not only have an emergency kit in the car, but that said kit contains everything you need. An emergency phone charger, blankets, something to eat and drink, a torch, basic first aid supplies and so on.
  10. Last but not least, if your car has not been professionally serviced for some time, it is imperative that you get it done before the winter weather sets in. The reason being that while it may have performed adequately during the summer, you’ve no idea what kind of damage the winter weather might do when it eventually sets in!

Easy Fixes for Ensuring Your Car is Always Road Ready

Many car owners take their car directly to the garage for even the smallest of repairs. This can cost a fortune over the long run as vehicles need to be maintained each year. Instead, it is much better to read up on how to make easy fixes so that your car is always road ready.

All you need for many fixes is a suitable working space, an internet connection and a handful of garage equipment. Places like SGS are ideal for finding everything you need in one place. Here are a few easy repairs that any motorist can make to keep their car on the road:

Changing a Flat Tire

Changing a flat tire is a topic that is constantly seen in film and TV and is viewed as a sign of independence. If you do not know how to change a flat tire, read on so that you never find yourself stuck on the side of the road.
First, secure the automobile by pulling over on a flat surface and using bricks or anything similar behind the wheels of the side that will not be raised. Next, use a screwdriver to pry the wheel cover off and loosen/break the lug nuts with your wrench (turn counterclockwise). Jack the car up 6 inches off the ground and remove the lug nuts. Pull the tire straight towards you until it comes off.
Lift the spare onto the lug bolts and replace the lug nuts – tighten by hand but not all the way. Lower the car and then use the wrench to secure the lug nuts. Replace the hubcap and you are done.

Replacing Air Filter

Perhaps the easiest repair of all – replacing the air filter will take just 10 minutes and with minimal fuss. Pop the hood and locate the air filter box. Release the clips or screws to lift the cover off and take note of which way around the filter goes. Lift the old one out, quickly clean the inside of the box with a damp cloth and replace with the new
filter. Attach the clips or mounting screws to secure the box.

Change Battery

A dead battery is a big problem but one which is not actually too difficult to fix (but always wear protective gloves and goggles). First, it is essential that you identify the positive and negative connections (negative is usually black with a – whilst positive is red with a +). Remove the negative terminal first and then loosen the positive terminal followed by the clamps and screws. Carefully lift the battery out and keep it level to avoid acid spillage.
Place the new battery in its housing and ensure that the positive and negative posts are in the correct position. Tighten the clamps, remove the protective covers and then connect positive first followed by negative.
These are just three simple fixes that anybody can make to save on mechanic fees and keep their vehicle on the roads at all times.