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Regular and effective car maintenance is an essential practice throughout the whole of the year but there is also no doubt that the circumstances are somewhat altered when the winter months arrive. As the temperatures decline rapidly the elements of frost, snow and ice often come into the equation meaning that drivers have to adapt to this accordingly. The level of the difficulties encountered tends to vary but it is crucially important to take on board a few different methods of maintenance during this spell of the year.

Check the fluids

Although this is a general tip that should be regularly adhered to the fluid levels in your vehicle should be checked over ahead of winter. Make sure that you have a sufficient amount of brake fluid and oil as well as ensuring that your coolant levels are as they should be. You will find an indication of your specific vehicle’s recommended levels in the manual. There are many times when you will need to clear your windscreen so also make sure that you have your washer fluid fully topped up. A slight difference with regard to this element of your maintenance during winter is that you may want to look for windscreen washer that contains something to prevent it from freezing.

Inspect your tyres

The tyres are always subject to harsh treatment in a lot of ways so have a look over them and make sure that they are inflated to the specified pressure. Again this is something you can be clear on by referring to your vehicle handbook. Also, as a car owner you are legally obliged to have at least 1.6 mm of tread depth across three quarters of the tyre.

Look at the lights

The weather brings a certain number of problems but when it is winter there is also an increased amount of times when visibility is affected by the time of day. As it is dark for longer periods you will be called upon to use your lights more regularly so you have to be sure that these are in full working order. Any possible damage to the casing should also be sorted right away.

Other essential items

Winter is a time more than ever for drivers when unforeseen circumstances can arise so always keep the essentials in your car. This includes de-icer, a set of jump leads, a torch, a first aid kit, a warning triangle and even items such as a blanket in case of a breakdown in freezing temperatures.

Article written by Lewis Anthony on behalf of the established Ford car supplier –