01732 840892

778 London Road, Larkfield, Aylesford, Kent, ME20 6BE

Winter is upon us, and winter driving comes with it. While safety is an important consideration all year long, there are certainly some auto maintenance jobs and safety checks that are specific to chilled air and winter driving that are a good idea to check into before we're knee deep in the season.

To be sure you don't end up a road popsicle, or even worse end up with your holiday budget on ice thanks to unexpected repairs, have a look under the bonnet to be sure things are ship shape. As with any change of season, you should go to your regular maintenance log to make sure you are up to date on the maintenance items that should be taken care of throughout the year. The change of seasons is a great time to go through some once-a-year or twice-a-year auto maintenance tasks. .

The winter weather puts an additional strain on your car, regardless of how old it is. These simple car checks should help you and your car safely through to the milder spring weather.

 

    • Antifreeze: As well as making the roads more dangerous, sub-zero temperatures can cause serious problems with your car’s mechanics – and even damage the engine. Topping up the radiator with antifreeze will help to avoid this. Check which sort of antifreeze is recommended for your car (the manufacturer will normally say in the owner’s handbook) and be sure not to fill past the maximum level. Usually, you will have to create a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water. Cheap antifreeze testers (available from shops such as Halfords) show you the temperature to which your car is protected.

    • Air Conditioning: Air conditioning should be checked and used frequently throughout the year (even in cold, winter weather) to make sure pipes aren’t left to corrode. Some modern cars will automatically turn on the air conditioning when you set off in icy conditions. Leave it to run for half an hour or so; it will help defrost the car and keep things moving so the air conditioning works smoothly when summer rolls around.  Batteries are an important part of car checks

    • Battery: Car batteries only have a limited lifespan of around five years so consider replacing yours before the winter sets in. Even relatively new car batteries go wrong though, and constant use of the heater, heated seats and lights in winter weather can be enough to drain them right down. Make sure you let your engine run for a while (ideally without any electrics switched on) before and after your journey. This will give the alternator a chance to top up the battery properly – and prevent you from getting stuck in the cold on a Monday morning.

    • Car tyres: Ice seriously affects your car’s ability to grip the road, and this can be exacerbated by damaged or badly-worn car tyres. Although the law requires tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, we recommend buying new tyres once this reaches 2-3mm. You can find safe, affordable replacements with the Which? guide to buying cheap tyres. Keeping your car tyres at the right pressure (a legal requirement) is important all year round, but especially so in winter. Use an accurate tyre gauge to check that all four tyres are pumped to the manufacturer’s specification.

    • Lights: Check that all of your lights, including indicators, fog lights and reversing lights, are working before you set off.  Check around your car for faulty bulbs Clean them, and then get someone to try them while you walk around the car. If they flicker when tapped lightly with your hand, they probably need tightening into position or replacing altogether.

    • Windscreen and windows: Keep your washer bottle topped throughout the winter, but make sure you add screenwash to stop it freezing. Don’t use antifreeze: it’s corrosive and could damage your paintwork. It’s also important to check your windscreen wiper blades (front and back) are in good condition. If not, have them replaced.


It's worth keeping an eye out for unusual wear on your tyres, such as premature wear on the inside or outside shoulder, which could be caused by an incorrect camber setting.

Find Us


Autocraft Larkfield
01732 840892

778 London Road,
Larkfield,
Aylesford,
Kent,
ME20 6BE

Opening Times


Monday - Friday:
8:00am - 5:30pm

Saturday:
8:30am - 4:30pm

Sunday:
Closed


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