Basic Tyre and Car Care Tips You Need to Know for Winter

Stock photo of a car in winter from Pexels by Chris Peeters
Photo by Chris Peeters on Pexels

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I never knew just how Important car maintenance was until I started driving myself, especially in the winter! And with low temperatures, monsoon like weather and snow hitting Scotland hard every winter it's paramount to know how you can keep your car in tip top condition to keep yourself and your family safe on the road. 

So, with that in mind let's take a look at these top tips for Basic Tyre and Car Care Tips You Need to Know for Winter. 

Check your defroster and heater 

In the winter months in Scotland the temperatures can really drop, often below 0 °C so it is crucial to make sure that your heater is working because driving in the cold weather can affect your movement and reaction time plus If your climate control system isn't working properly it can cause your windows to fog up and this will in turn affect your visibility of the road making it dangerous to drive. 

It's also important to keep on top of your defroster heater because your car will often be covered in ice during the winter, I know mines is every year and as someone who had a bad blower on their last car and had no idea what the problem was, I can confirm it is awful trying to defrost your car on your own without the car doing the work as well and leaving it for any length of time can result in a bigger bill to get it fixed or replaced. Making sure both of these are functioning properly in your car is vital to maintaining safety and comfort through the winter. 

Stock photo of a car wheel from koprivakart on pexels
Image by Jan Kopřiva on Pexels

Check your tyres

Maintaining your tyres any time of the year is crucial and even more so in the winter because they are integral to keeping your car safe and well maintained. A lot can go wrong if you don't keep on top of your tyres! My other half had a blow-out with a work van last year in December which resulted in a lorry hitting into the back end of him and both of them ended up crashing into a barrier on the M80. Luckily, he wasn't harmed but due to the company not keeping their vans maintained the accident happened. Ever since then I have made a point of always keeping on top of my car tyres especially since I have my son to think about as well.

Here are some ways in which you can make sure you are looking after your tyres in the winter.

Tyre Pressure

Keeping on top of your tyre pressure is a must! if your tyre pressure isn't kept on top of it can affect the handling of your car, your steering, milage and breaking. It's a good rule of thumb to check the pressure every month, including your spare tyre, to make sure they are at the right PSI, which can be found on your tyres and this will let you know what they should be at, but this is the maximum you can have, and you shouldn't maintain this daily as it is bad for your tyres. If they are under or over inflated this can result is wear and tear that could put you at risk of a blow-out. Always make sure to check your tyres when they are cold as this will give you the most accurate reading and this can be done at a petrol station, with your own gauge or by a professional. If you feel like you are constantly having to check your tyre pressure or having to inflate them every few days/weeks this could be an indicator that you need new tyres.

Checking for general wear and tear 

As well as keeping on top of your tyre pressure it's good to physically check your tyres for general wear and tear every month because if tears, bulges or objects stuck in them are left for any amount of time this can cause some serious problems down the line. As well as this you also have to keep on top of your tyre tread as worn tyres are basically an accident waiting to happen, it's vital that you keep on top of this because not only are the safety risks increasingly higher, you could also be slapped with a £2,500 fine and 3 points on your licence per worn tyre which means if all 4 of your tyres were below the legal limit of 1.6mm tread depth (UK and Europe) across the central three-quarters of the tyres you could be potentially looking at a £10,000 fine and losing your licence. So, does that seem worth it?

If your tyres are worn or about to be you should be looking into getting them replaced, not only will this minimise the safety risks it will also make sure you aren't looking at a hefty fine and points on your licence. If you are in Scotland and are looking for somewhere to go for getting your tyres checked by a professional or you want to get them replaced, you can buy tyres online in Stirling from Fife Autocentre (01382 205000). Not only can you get your tyres looked at and replaced you can also get a Free Winter Service which is perfect for those colder months to make sure your car is in good running order and safe. 

Protect your spare tyre 

Looking after your car tyres doesn't just mean the ones that are being used, you also have to take care of your spare tyre just in case you do have to change it over as you never know when you may need it. It's good practice to not store your tyre under anything heavy for any length of time as this could affect how it work, you should also keep it in a well ventilated and dry area, normally your car will come with a compartment where you can store it, most likely under the boot. Make sure to check it regularly when you are check your other tyres and replace it if need be.

Stock photo of a car engine by cottonbro on Pexels
Image by cottonbro on Pexels

Check your car battery 

In the colder weather it's often harder for your battery to preform than it is in the warmer months, if your battery is showing signs that it is weak like being harder to start your car or often shutting down then you should make sure that you get it looked at ASAP! It's a good idea to have your batteries performance tested with a volt test before the winter months start to ensure that it is working to the best of its ability, if it isn't in great working condition then you should buy a new battery and have it replaced, going somewhere like Fife Autocentre which offers a free battery check means that you don't have to worry and will be in good hands. 

Give your car a once over 

It's important to give your car a once over every now and then, especially in winter to make sure that everything is in working order like your windscreen wipers, this means that your visibility will be at its best because in the winter this can be dangerous due to the likes of rain and snow so making sure your windscreen wipes are working and attached correctly can minimise this risk and allow you to drive even in adverse weather conditions. You should also top up on fluids such as your washer fluid, oil and brake fluid, make sure that you keep them topped up but don't over fill, check your cars min and max lines to ensure that you are using the right amount of product. Also make sure to check your lights, if anything is broken get it fixed as soon as possible and make sure your horn works, window buttons and the likes. 

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