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Winter checks on your car
You should of course have you car serviced regularly anyway, i would say most breakdowns these days are due to broken cambelts, that should be changed at regular intervals.
But regarding checks you ought to do for winter use, first test the anti freeze and top it up to correct strength or have it done at a garage, fill up the windscreen washer bottle, make sure you have additive in it to stop it freezing, check the tyre pressures, in fact check all the levels you can, like engine oil, radiator, washers, battery if applicable, have the battery tested if you can, check the fan belt, make sure all the lights work, including brake lights which you never see yourself, check wiper blades, make sure the heater works properly. Make sure horn and wipers work.
Buy some de-icer, have an ice scraper handy and something to keep the windscreen clear, what i do is start my car up about 15 minutes before i want to use it, so it cleans the windows and heats it up inside, probably by law your not supposed to do that...Check spare tyre, check brake fluid, check all coolant hoses. if you can avoid it try not to leave the handbrake on when parked in freezing conditions as it can stick on and you wont be able to move the car. Make sure you have plenty of fuel in the tank, take your mobile phone out with you in case you breakdown.
If the door locks freeze up you can put warm water over them and the windows, but dont you hot water as you could crack the glass, you can also spray deicer in the locks...make sure the heated rear window works...make sure you have good tyres..make sure you have a few tools in the boot, like Jack and wheelbrace etc..i keep a tow rope and jump leads in the boot, also an emergency power pack. Keep some money etc with you, if you go out in deep snow take a shovel and a torch, also a foot pump, take some extra clothing, if something is frozen up you could try a hair dryer or fan heater, that's all i can think of at the moment....
Fred in Essex..
 
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