Winter is often seen as the big bad wolf of motoring, conjuring up images of cars failing to start and ushering in the dreaded activity of shoveling snow off the car first thing in the morning. Here at The Moment magazine we can’t do anything about the weather (though we are working on that), but we can give you lots of tips to make driving in winter a breeze.
It goes without saying, but if you want to make you car ready for winter it’s going to need a helping hand. It’s better to pay for little bits here and there than have one massive bill because your car has broken down. Firstly, make sure you car has been properly serviced at your local garage, this will give you a better insight into what your car needs in the cold months ahead. Once that is done, follow these simple tips to protect your car from breaking down.
Faulty batteries are one of the most common causes of breakdowns, and they are especially vulnerable during winter when cold temperatures cause the power coming out of the battery to drop. Winter also decreases the battery’s ability to charge while you are still driving, so the it takes far longer to recharge.
This may sound all doom and gloom, but there are very simple steps you can take to take care of your battery…
Remember, the lifespan on a battery is only around five years, so once it reaches that age you should think about replacing it. It is also more economical to replace a working battery rather than waiting till it causes a breakdown.
Don’t overload your battery
It’s also important to remember not to overload your battery too much. In winter, when you have the lights going, heating up, rear windscreen heater on and so on, the battery is working twice as much as normal, and when your battery is already struggling this could cause real problems. Check everything that uses electricity is turned off when you stop your car. Even the slightest thing left on all night can kill your battery when it’s cold outside.
Let your battery breathe
Of course, it’s very tempting to turn the heating on as soon as we get in to our cars on a chilly morning, but when you start your car up in the morning, leave anything electric off and just give the battery a chance.
In winter, we use the electrics far more then during any other time. This puts a lot of strain on the car and can cause all sorts of problems. Make sure you don’t keep anything on longer then you need to. Turn off the heating once the car has warmed up and the windscreen is clear for instance. If your car stands idle for long periods of time, don’t let the battery go completely flat. Use a trickle charge so the battery is guaranteed to start when you really need it.
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