For those of us who love to drive, winter can be an almighty pain in the backside. Our poor cars suffer terribly when the temperature drops below zero. We’re running the air con for heat to clear the screens, and then we have the seat warmers on. The cold starts and all these extra demands are a huge drain on the fuel, so the economy starts to suffer too. Winter is not a cheap time for a motorist. When the days start and end in the dark, it always seems to be the season for the light bulbs to fail on us as well.
With the cost of fuel and bulbs bringing winter misery, it is a wonder we drive at all at this time of the year. Even if you park in a garage overnight, you may still have to scrape the ice from the windows when you come back for your car from the shops. With the really bad weather we have had recently, you need to bring your snow shovel too. Potholes in the road seem to get worse and before you know it you have to replace a tire too. Perhaps the most serious problems winter causes for our cars is the strain and drain on our batteries.
Long before the car has had a chance to warm up, we have the lights on, the screen heat on, the seat warmer on and the engine running. You may need all this on just to do your car maintenance checks. All these things can quickly exhaust a battery, and if you’re not traveling far you could be hitting problems sooner than you think. It is at this time of year that your battery is most likely to fail. If you’re lucky, your car just won’t start. If you are unlucky, you could be left stranded at a busy intersection with the car stalled.
Checking your battery is OK is not too tough a job. If you suspect a problem, get it to your local mechanic. You can charge a battery overnight off the house mains, but if you have got to this point, your battery may need to be replaced, and your car checked over. If your lights are playing up, this too could be a sign that something is wrong with the car, so get them checked urgently. Car batteries can easily be replaced, so if your one has died, install a brand new one. They rarely last more than a few years so if your car is out of warranty, you may need to replace your battery soon anyway.
Whatever the weather, we all need to drive our cars and maintaining them is essential through the winter months. You will need your wipers more often so check they are working well, and you have enough cleaning fluid. Your lights will also need to be checked when it is dark most of the time you are driving. Most importantly, be sure you are safe as you drive. Happy motoring.