MOTORING TIPS AND ADVICE
WINTER CAR CARE
It is critical that your car servicing is up to date at any time of the year, however, driving in Winter is more dangerous than at any other time. Even if your car servicing is up to date, there are precautionary measures you can take to minimise the risk of accident or breakdown.
- HAVE YOUR BATTERY TESTED – The average life span of a car battery is around 3 ½ years and the colder weather can significantly shorten its life causing it to fail suddenly without warning. Mechanics At Your Place carry most common batteries on board and have specialist battery testing equipment that can identify a failing or weak battery.
- CHECK YOUR TYRES – Incorrectly inflated tyres are dangerous and will wear out a lot faster. Your tyre pressures should be checked every one or two weeks and adjusted according to the sticker usually found in your glove box, under the fuel flap, inside the front door pillar or under the bonnet. Tyre pressures should only be checked when cold. While your down there make sure you have plenty of tread. Worn tyres cannot disperse water from the road efficiently which means your braking and steering ability will be significantly reduced.
- KEEP YOUR WINDSCREENS CLEAN – Vision is significantly reduced in the dark, during rain or drizzle and on overcast days. Cleaning the inside of your windscreens and windows in addition to the outside will make a noticeable improvement to your vision. Don’t forget to keep your washer bottle topped up with cleaning solution for those wet days when grime and dirty water from the road is sprayed up onto your screen.
- REPAIR ANY WINDSCREEN CHIPS – Windscreen chips don’t just interfere with your vision but they can easily turn into a crack, especially during the colder months. Repairing a chip is simpler and cheaper than replacing a full windscreen and your car can be driven immediately, while you have to wait for a new windscreen to set before you can drive. Mechanics At Your Place can repair most windscreen chips at your home or workplace.
- DON’T DRIVE WITH A FOGGY WINDSCREEN – Never drive your car in the morning with a foggy or icy windscreen. Always wait for it to defrost or the ice to melt before you head off. Your cars air conditioner set to warm and defrost or demist is the quickest way to remove fog, so make sure it is in working order. Ice can be removed by pouring cool tap water over the screen but never use hot water as it could cause the windscreen to crack. Parking your car under a carport or in a garage overnight can prevent ice from forming but if you don’t have access to one you can try a sheet of cardboard or a tarp over the top of the screen. You can also try starting the cars engine five or ten minutes before you head off to help get the heater warm.
- YOU DON’T HAVE TO DRIVE AT THE SPEED LIMIT – Always drive to the conditions that you face and allow extra space between your car and others around you. Allow extra travel time to get to your destination and never hurry.
- CHECK YOUR LIGHTS – Not only is it important that you can see clearly when driving, but it is equally important that other drivers can see you. A light globe can fail at any time without warning, potentially within minutes of having your car serviced. Take a moment each week-end to walk around your car to check that all your lights are working. Have someone press the brake pedal while you stand at the back of the car. Call Mechanics At Your Place to arrange replacement of any blown globes. If you are going to attempt to replace a globe yourself then be sure to wear gloves and don’t touch the glass. Oils from your skin can cause a globe to burn out prematurely and some modern headlight globes can be quite costly to replace.
REDUCE YOUR FUEL CONSUMPTION (AND HELP THE ENVIRONMENT)
- Your car servicing must be up to date. A car that is well maintained and serviced on time which is usually every 10,000kms or 6 months (whichever occurs first) will use less fuel and be less likely to break down. If you don’t travel 10,000 kms within 6 months you still need to have your car serviced on time. The oils and fluids in your cars engine, radiator and brake hydraulics has a shelf life and wont last forever just because your car spends most of its time in the garage.
- Adjust your tyre pressures to the higher end of the range recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. You should find this information on the tyre placard sticker inside the front door pillar, inside the glovebox, under the fuel flap or in the owners handbook.
- Make sure your wheels are properly aligned. Correctly aligned wheels reduces rolling resistance, improves handling and extends the life of your tyres.
- Remove unnecessary weight and wind resistance such as roof racks that are not being used, golf clubs & electric buggy in the boot, boxes of paperwork etc. Having the window open at higher speeds uses more fuel than having the air conditioning on.
- Older cars should have the fuel injection system serviced every two years or so. Mechanics At Your Place can clean your fuel injectors and throttle body on-site and in conjunction with your routine or log book service.