With the weather forecast predicting that the UK is going to be hit by extreme cold spells over the coming weeks, it is essential that you ensure that your car is ready to cope with these conditions.
At Autotech Garage Services, we would recommend that you check the following parts of your car, to reduce the risk of you running into any issues.
Check your tyres
We would recommend that you check your tyre pressures every week to ensure that they are inflated to the specification recommended by your vehicle manufacturer. Not only will this ensure that your vehicle is gripping to the road as it should, it will also save you fuel.
We would recommend that for the winter months, your tyre tread should be no lower than 3mm, to allow extra grip in snow and other unpredictable weather conditions.
Test your battery
Batteries are the most common cause of breakdowns during the winter months. The reason for this is that they are put under increased strain during the winter months, due to the increased use of your heater and lights. If you are looking for car servicing in Great Yarmouth, we offer a free battery test as part of your winter service.
If you fail to top up your water with anti-freeze, the water in your radiator can freeze. We would recommend checking your anti-freeze levels every week, to ensure they are topped up to the ‘maximum’ line on coolant bottle.
Replace your windscreen wipers
Old and damaged windscreen wipers will struggle to clear your windscreen fully in most situations, but in heavy downpours it becomes even more dangerous. You should ensure that your windscreen wipers are clearing your windscreen correctly. We offer windscreen wipers from £6 each.
Use a high quality screen wash
Using a good quality screen wash will not only ensure that the windscreen clears and is streak free, it will ensure the screen wash doesn’t freeze.
Check your lights
As your lights are being used more in the winter, the bulbs are more likely to fail. It is essential that you check all your bulbs, including the brake lights, indicator lights, head lights and fog lights.
Great Britain, the country that has 4 seasons in one day and you can get snow and flash floods at the drop of a hat. With the weather being unpredictable, especially at the time of the year, it is always important to ensure before any journey that you and your car are prepared for any eventuality.
Below we have compiled a list of items which should be checked frequently, especially in the cold weather.
1. Tyres – You should check the condition, tread level and pressure of your tyres to ensure that they are performing to the best of their ability. Check the tyres to see if there are any splits or bulges.
You should also check to ensure that the tread level of your tyres is above the legal limit of 1.6mm. We would recommend that you change your tyres well before hitting this limit to ensure optimal grip in all weathers. You should also ensure that your tyre pressures are inflated to your car manufacturers recommended settings. Not only will this assist with the handling of your car, but it will help increase your cars MPG!
2. Coolant – You should ensure that your cars coolant level is between the minimum and maximum markers. Coolants include Anti-Freeze which is designed to stop your engine from freezing. Coolant is very cheap and can prevent a very hefty bill for repairing an engine which has become frozen.
3. Battery – In cold weather the oil in your battery becomes thicker, which means it requires more energy from the battery to create a chemical reaction to generate electricity. The older your battery gets, the more it will struggle, so it is advisable to have your battery tested to help reduce the chances of you being caught out with a dead battery.
4. Screen Wash – Ensure that you have enough screen wash in your screen wash reservoir and that it is at a concentration suitable for the cold weather. Failure to use the correct concentration can lead your washer pump freezing and other issues.
If you would like assistance in checking these and any other points in your car, please do not hesitate in contacting us to arrange an appointment for us to do this for you.
In addition to the aforementioned, we would recommend that you keep the following in your car if you’re planning on long journeys –
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch and spare batteries
- Warm clothes and blankets
- First aid kit
- Food and a warm drink in a thermos
- Reflective warning sign
- Emergency phone charger
Most modern cars today come with air conditioning systems integrated into the car.
The system comprises of the fan, heater core for heat, the evaporator for cooling,and the distribution system for delivering the air to various parts of the car. Many people think that using the air conditioning is obvious, that is there just cool the car.
We need to move away from the fact that air conditioning means cold and is only used to cool off in the summer.
The modern air conditioning system is heating and cooling and sometimes filtration depending on the system.
Air comes in from the outside through the the pollen filter if fitted, through the evaporator, the heater core then through he distribution system. When you turn the air conditioning on the compressor will run to cool the car down and take moisture from the air. Air is then fed through the heater core to heat it to the desired temperature. Some modern systems only need a temp input from the driver or passenger then they system will do the rest, there are also systems now that can deliver different temp settings to different parts of the car at the same time.
Summer use of the system seems to be the most obvious use for the air conditioning system, by turning the system on and selecting cool, the heater output is turned off if cooler or is required press recirculate which will recirculate air that has been cooled already.
A little known fact is that you Air Conditioning will help quickly clear your windscreen in the cold weather.
New EU regulations controlling the buying and selling of r134a refrigerant have come into affect from the start of January.
The changes are designed to improve compliance with r134a rules and regulations.
These regulations have required all garages that buy r134a gas have to have a F-Gas qualified technician since 2010.
Surveys have shown that up to 50% of garages have simply ignored this requirement but these new changes are designed to make it more difficult for garages to buy r134a gas from suppliers when they don’t have F-Gas qualified technician.
The new changes have wide ranging implications for garage owners, technicians and also suppliers of A134a.
The EU working through DEFRA have put extra responsibility on the suppliers of a134a to ensure that the garages they are supplying have the relevant qualifications.
Where the F-Gas regulation 2006 placed legal responsibility with the buyer the 2014 regulation places responsibility with the buyer and the seller.
We at Autotech Garage Services strive to be as up to date as possible and we are fully compliant with all regulations concerning F-Gas handling and all our customers can be safe in the fact that our staff are trained and certified.