Although some temperatures might remind us of the summer, autumn has started, and with it the season when driving conditions change due to rain and lower temperatures.
A direct consequence for motorists (especially for those who use the car for the daily commute), is that they need to check their own means of transport and make a check-up aimed at driving on the road in the safest and most efficient way. Here are 5 steps to follow if you want to make sure you are ready for the coldest season.
1 – Liquids control
Now that the summer and the long journeys to reach the holiday destinations are in the past, the first thing to do is to check the oil level and proceed with a top up in case there is a shortage. Good practice is to check every 2000 km, and to change it every 10,000 routes, to avoid damage to the engine.
2 – Check the tyres
In some European countries there is an obligation by law to install winter tyres.
It is recommended to check the condition of the tyres regardless of the legal obligation, making sure that the pressure is adequate and that they are not too worn: to guarantee maximum efficiency, the tread must never be less than 1.6 mm thick.
3 – Brakes control
Even the brakes should be given a lot of attention in the light of the different road conditions with the lowering of temperatures: pads and discs (or drums, if still present) must be in optimal condition, and the level of the system liquid must never fall below the recommended threshold to ensure the best performance in the event of braking.
4 – Battery check
Modern batteries do not need special care, in fact they are often sealed . In those where you can unscrew the stoppers, you can check the level of liquids and top up with distilled water until the reference mark is reached. It is important to always use gloves to avoid direct contact with corrosive substances.
If the car takes a suspiciously long time to start or a lot of time has passed since the last change (the average battery life is about 4-5 years), it is better to invest in a new one: in the coldest season the risk of being discharged is higher, with consequent inconvenience.
5 – Glass and windscreen wipers controls
Last but not least, the control of the windshield wipers and glass: with a drastic lowering of temperatures a small crack can easily cause the windshield to break, and in the rainy season it is essential to have windshield wipers able to keep it clean and ensure optimal visibility under a storm.
The level of the washer fluid and the use of an antifreeze should also be evaluated in view of lowering temperatures in areas where the thermometer may approach zero. It is also a good idea to keep a rubber scraper in the car to clean the glass if ice is formed, which is not uncommon at night.