Nov 07

Saving money on car maintenance this winter

Reading Time: 4 mins

The ‘Beast from the East’ caused travel chaos last winter, affecting millions across the UK.

Cars were abandoned and the number of people needing repair and rescue rocketed.

This was due to driving conditions being so much harder to manage.

On a wet road, the stopping distance is DOUBLE what it usually is, while it is TEN TIMES longer on a frozen or snow-covered surface!

Meteorologists are already predicting that the UK will suffer the worst winter in 10 years,meaning you need to be ready for what is thrown at your home, car, garden and family.

In the first of a series of articles, we’re going to show you how to save money and protect yourself this winter.


 Winter Tyres

winter tyres

If snow blankets the country again, it’s sensible to fit a pair or full set of winter tyres, which are specifically designed to provide more grip on the road and make your journey safer.

With frozen roads, the threat of sliding into another car is high and even a small dent can be costly to remove!

However, if you want to avoid of buying new winter tyres, the least you should do is check the tread level of your current ones. If your tyres are worn down, they will not be able to grip the road.

Remember, if the depth is less than 1.6mm, your tyres will not be road worthy and will have to be replaced by law.


Check for rust

winter rust cars

Rust can be hugely damaging during the winter if left unchecked, as the cold and rain causes holes to expand quickly.

The majority of rust problems affect the exhaust system which runs along the bottom of cars and is exposed to the elements.

A new catalytic converter will cost around £2,000 – £3,000 if there is too much damage, so get the underside of your car checked and you could save a serious amount of money.

A mechanic will be able to weld a hole shut if it’s small enough, but there’s a point of no return unfortunately, which is why checking for rust is so important.


Aircon regas

What’s an aircon regas, we hear you ask!

It’s a job carried out by a mechanic to replenish all of the gas in a car’ air-conditioning system.

A car should have an aircon regas every two years or so, due to the fact that the gas naturally runs out over time and the effectiveness of the system will decrease.

When this happens, the engine of your car will have to work even harder to keep the aircon going, costing petrol and power.

If you’re on a long journey and the aircon is doing its best to keep you and your passengers warm, your car will be using up much more petrol than usual, meaning you’ll be paying for much more fuel over the winter if you don’t get an aircon regas.

To get free quotes from local garages for aircon regas, click here now.


Common costly mistakes

Pouring boiling water onto the windows

This could cause a huge crack to appear on a frozen window so make sure to use lukewarm water to clear ice instead.

Not giving yourself enough time to travel

If it takes you an hour to drive to work during the summer, it won’t take you an hour in difficult conditions, so make sure to give yourself extra time to avoid rushing and driving with more risk.

Ignoring a small problem

As is the case with rust, if a small problem is left unchecked, it will develop into something worse and the last thing you wan is to breakdown in the middle of a snowstorm after ignoring that strange burning smell for a week.

Important pre-drive checks

driving checks car checks

Have you removed all unnecessary weight from the car?

The more weight a car has, the longer it will take to stop. This will increase if you’re trying to come to a halt in the snow or rain.

That’s why it’s important to remove any unnecessary weight that you may have in your car.

Removing unused car seats and luggage in your boot may help your car to stop much faster.


Have you checked your fluid levels?

Brake fluid, engine oil and windscreen washer liquids are all critical for you to drive safely. If you run out or there’s a leak, your car will be more susceptible to damage and unsafe driving.


Do you have supplies?

If the worst-case scenario does end up happening, and you get stuck on a motorway in a broken-down car, it’s important that you have a small amount of food and water inside the vehicle – it could take a while to get rescued!


Insure 2 Go


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