It’s winter. We are experiencing those chilly brisk mornings, cool to cold evenings, and shorter days. With harsh winds – that seem to want to go through you, not around you and icy rain. Depending on where you live winter can include snow and ice, or you might be fortunate enough to have milder winters. It’s no surprise to learn that just like us, our cars really don’t like winter much either.
While it doesn’t get as cold here as it does in some other countries in winter there are a few things you can do to help look after your ute. If you’re passionate about your car, you want to protect it as best you can to ensure it keeps running well and will last you for many years to come.
All year round you should always ensure your ute’s windscreen wipers are working properly, but in winter when we experience more rain and heavier rains you need to make sure you can see through your windscreen properly. Worn wiper blades may leave streaks and marks on your windscreen so be sure to replace your blades if this is happening. The great news is, not only is replacing blades a simple and easy five-minute job that you can do yourself, but the replacement blades are relatively cheap to buy.
The cold months are hard on your ute’s battery. In winter, the fluids in the car are thicker and this means the car battery has to use more power to heat things up and get your ute moving. Pop into your local mechanic and have him perform a check up on your car battery and get it replaced if necessary. The battery shouldn’t be running low and the contact terminals and posts should be spotless with no signs of corrosion. Always carry jumper leads with you, while your car might not need a start during winter, if you have leads with you, you may be able to assist someone else to start their car. Batteries generally last 3 to 5 years, so, getting it replaced is better than being stranded somewhere with a flat battery.
Have road assistance
There is absolutely nothing worse than breaking down in the middle of nowhere – period – but it’s even worse in winter. If your current car insurance doesn’t come with a car assistance package, consider contacting the NRMA or another provider and signing up for roadside assistance. If you only need it once – you will be very glad you did.
Prepare your ute early
While we have just started creeping into winter it’s a good idea to keep these tips in mind for next year. It’s always good to prepare your car for winter – early. Give your car a thorough clean, inside and out and a good wax and polish. This will help protect it from falling leaves and debris, rain and the cold.
In winter cold, dark mornings are more dangerous, so always make sure your headlights are both working properly and that your tail lights are also in good working order. You are more likely to drive through fog and mist and you need to be able to see where you are going, and you need to be seen!
In addition to making sure your ute is in tip top working condition it’s a good idea for you to drive safely out on the roads. Make sure your tyres are fully inflated and that there is plenty of grip left on the rubber. Don’t drive too close to the car in front of you, especially in dark, foggy or wet conditions – slippery roads and a reduction in visibility can be a disaster waiting to happen.
Always get your car serviced regularly to ensure that all year around, it is working perfectly. Once your car is all set for winter all that’s left to do is grab yourself a nice hot thermos to keep you warm during any long winter drives.