Snow arrives in Andover!

Date: 1st February 2019
Author: Louise Ellison

Snow has arrived in Andover! This time of year can be challenging for your car, so regular maintenance is essential. We all rely so heavily on our cars, it’s important to take care of them during the winter months. The team at BP Rolls Automotive MOT and Service Centre have come up with this list of 6 essential top tips to make sure your car is winter ready. If you are unsure about anything, give us a call and we will be happy to assist. Our Winter Health Check is only £25 and gives you complete peace of mind that your car is ready for whatever the weather throws at it!

Is your Car Already Winter Ready?

“But my car is new…” Many people think that because their car is new or has recently been serviced, that it is ready for winter. You would be surprised at how vehicles we see that younger than 5 years old in with us during the winter months. Your vehicle is a complex piece of equipment there are many items that need a quick check to make sure your car is ready for winter.

BP Rolls Top Tips to get your Car Winter Ready…

    1) Check your battery

    One of the most common problems our customers experience during cold weather is battery related. Certain things can put extra strain on your car battery, particularly during winter, as you’ll be using systems like lighting and heating a lot more. Cold weather can reduce the life of your car battery too, as low temperatures can affect the chemical reactions necessary to make it work. This is a major reason why breakdowns are more common in winter, and why you may sometimes have trouble starting your engine on freezing mornings. We have a digital multimeter device that enables us to check your battery condition and print a report. If it shows signs of weakness, such as lack of charge, then it’s time to get a new one so it doesn’t let you down when you need it the most.

    2) Check Your Tyres

    It’s not particularly necessary to have winter tyres in the UK as they are designed to work in specific conditions, and we just don’t generally get the amount of snow required to make the most of these, however we do recommend good quality all weather tyres if you happen to be changing them during the winter months. Making sure your tyres are in good order will ensure that your car stays on the road should you have the misfortune of hitting the ice. Tyre tread is very important and should be over the legal limit of 1.6 millimetres and check for any damage, bulges or obvious signs of wear. For safety reasons, we recommend that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Tyre pressure is also important; your manufacturer handbook will advise the correct settings. If in doubt then we will be happy to take a look at your tyres for you, report on their condition and make recommendations on replacements.

    3) Top up your Anti-Freeze

    Anti-freeze is an additive mixed with water to keep your engine running cool and also to stop the water from freezing so in the winter months you need to increase the amount added. The antifreeze bottle should tell you the mixture to make in order to protect your vehicle, or alternatively, you can buy pre-mixed engine coolant. We can check your coolant levels and advise on the correct mixture for your vehicle. Keep an eye on your coolant levels, as a loss of coolant can be a symptom and cause of biggest problems.

    4) Top up your screen wash

    As with your anti-freeze, your washer fluid also needs to change its strength. Adding more at this time of year ensures that it doesn’t freeze. Again, you can buy premixed screen wash specifically for winter use. Running out of water in your screen wash bottle is an MOT failure, so this is an essential thing to keep an eye on all year round. Driving with a frosted windscreen is not only challenge but also very dangerous.

    5) Check Your Brakes

    We all know that your brakes are an essential part of vehicle safety. First, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the wheel’s spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of the pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of the pad, you may want to have your brake pads inspected by a Technician to confirm if they need replacing.

    6) Keep Winter Essentials in your Boot

    The boot of the car should be stocked with essentials for winter driving. We recommend having some of the following items with you at all times in case of emergency: Waterproof coat, blanket, water, torch, screen wash, de-icer, scraper, a shovel and a soft broom. You never know when you might break down and you will be grateful for these items should you get stuck in bad weather.

    If in doubt, ask for advice. Having your car ready for winter can save your life. If you’re unsure how to check any of the items above then please get in touch. We will get you booked in for a winter check for just £25 and give your vehicle a full appraisal, advising on anything you may need during the coldest months of the year to keep you on the road. Out MOT and Service Centre is located on West Portway Industrial Estate, Andover where we have first-class facilities and a team of helpful and friendly staff on hand to help you with all your car maintenance needs. To speak to our Service Desk call 01264 335801.

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