Any underlying technical issues with your automobile can become worse throughout the winter and potentially result in a breakdown. We’ve created a list of things to watch out for to help prevent more avoidable breakdowns. Since we’d rather prevent our members from breaking down in the first place than have them endure the inconvenience of being stuck at the side of the road. Here are our top ten warning signs, from items you might notice while driving. Essential inspections, you should perform before you leave.
Remember your forces
By keeping in mind this acronym, you can help to make sure that your vehicle is prepared for any journey in icy conditions:
F is for Fuel
Make sure you have adequate fuel for the trip. Heavy traffic and start-stop situations, which can occur frequently, especially in wintry weather, cause cars to use more fuel.
O is for Oil
Always remember to check your oil level and top it off as necessary to prevent engine damage and potential breakdowns.
R is for Rubber
- Your car’s performance can be greatly affected by the condition of its tyres. If they aren’t worn evenly, the steering may be broken or the tyre pressures may be out of balance.
- To ensure adequate grip in slick or even icy conditions, make sure all four tyres have at least 3mm of tread and are properly inflated.
- Check your wiper blades to see if they are clearing the screen adequately and if the rubber has not degraded.
C is for Coolant
Make sure it’s filled to the manufacturer’s suggested levels and has the appropriate amount of antifreeze.
E is for electricity
Replace any defective bulbs or blown fuses after making sure that all of your lights, including your indicators, brake lights, and fog lights, are functioning properly.
S is for screenwash
Use a high-quality screenwash that works in the winter to top off your windscreen washer fluid. Keep in mind that lower temperatures necessitate a more concentrated solution.
In the winter, the brakes feel different
The brakes are any car’s most crucial safety component; therefore, it’s critical to monitor wear rates, particularly during the winter when grip may be at its lowest. Get things checked out by a RAC Mobile Mechanic if you’re unsure, since unusual grumbling noises, a car dragging to one side, or a “long” spongy brake pedal could indicate a problem with the braking system.
Engine revs flare up when it’s chilly
The primary sign that your car’s clutch is slipping is flaring engine rpm under strong acceleration. Unfortunately, there is no quick cure in this situation; the clutch must be changed. Don’t leave it because doing so could harm your engine and flywheel. Your contact should then make as soon as possible contact with a reliable garage.
A worn wheel bearing or driveshaft coupling may make an occasional knocking or droning sound, especially when turning or cornering. If not stopped, this could eventually cost the hub assembly and suspension money and result in a loss of drive. To identify the issue, you should get the vehicle evaluated by a reputable mechanic.
Condensation building up on windows
Whereas rain doesn’t fall throughout the winter, constant freezing, thawing, and condensation can cause water to build. Several symptoms could appear if your car’s seals are past their prime and water enter the electrics:
- Misfiring engines
- Broken electronic windows
- Broken door locks are all potential leak indicators
You can take it to a garage, waterproof the problem area, or try to locate the issue on your own.
The fuel system may be malfunctioning, or you may be out of fuel if the engine hesitates when you ask for acceleration. If you have allowed your automobile to operate on very little petrol or diesel, it may have disturbed some sediment in the tank and drawn it past the fuel filter, resulting in a minor obstruction.
Alternatively, the stuttering may be caused by spark plugs or spark plug leads that have become so worn out that they aren’t functioning properly. In either case, each of these issues have the potential to harm the engine, therefore it’s important to have a trained technician examine them right away.
Vehicle door stuck
We make getting into our cars for granted, but if your car won’t unlock in the winter with the remote central locking fob, see if you have a replacement fob. Make sure to replace the battery on a regular basis, particularly if you notice the fob working erratically. If it doesn’t work, try using the emergency key, which is typically located inside the remote control.
A jarring knock
It’s never a good sign when an engine makes loud knocking noises from within in the winter. If your automobile starts to rattle loudly, turn off the engine right away, then check the oil level on a level surface. Fill it up with an appropriate quality of engine oil if it’s below the minimum on the dipstick or not even showing up at all.
The engine won’t turn over in the winter; if it goes away, you may have avoided a crisis; if not, you may be looking at a very expensive repair or replacement at Christmas. Mechanicals and electronics can suffer damage from subfreezing temperatures.
Your car’s starter motor may be jammed or your battery may be dead if the engine won’t start. Even though this isn’t really a preventative step, it will at least clearly identify the potential problem so you can decide what to do next. Look for a healthy car that can jump-start you or charge your car battery. If it occurs again, your battery might be nearing the end of its useful life or your alternator might not be correctly charging the battery.