10 steps for a winter ready car - car care - vehicle repairs and servicing

The last thing any driver wants or needs is to break down during the cold winter weather months. Organising a vehicle check before winter arrives will avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold and hit with the unexpected expense of emergency repairs. 

For peace of mind, prepare your vehicle before winter sets in, all it takes is an investment of an hour or two to have your vehicle checked to help avoid the cost and hassle of car trouble during severe weather.

We recommend the following steps for preparing your vehicle for winter:

  1. If you’re due for a tune-up, have it done before winter sets in. Winter magnifies existing problems such as pings, hard starts, sluggish performance or rough idling.
  2. Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries.
  3. Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule of thumb, this should be done every two years. 
  4. Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  5. Check your tyres; tread depth (legal requirement is 1.5mm), general condition of the tyre and tyre pressure. During winter, tire pressure should be checked weekly.
  6. Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
  7. Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  8. Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly aimed. Ensure your hazard lights are in working order.
  9. Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
  10. Motorists should also keep the gas tank at least half full at all times to decrease the chances of moisture forming in the gas lines and possibly freezing. Drivers should check the tyre pressure of the spare in the trunk, stock an emergency kit, jumper cables, and flashlight.

If your vehicle is diesel powered, it may be a benefit to carry out a water treatment (additive). Be aware of potential diesel bug! It is the water in the fuel tank that the diesel bug survives on, and allows it to reproduce at an extremely fast rate. The term "Diesel Bug" is a commonly accepted term for a number of contaminants that include microbial bacteria, fungi and algae which can cause all sorts of problems for you and your diesel powered vehicle.

If you are unsure and would like to know more about any of the above, or would like to book your vehicle in for a service before winter set in, be sure to contact our friendly team at the Service Department, we'd be happy to assist!