Winter’s coming – are you and your car ready?

Make sure your car is ready for winter with a few easy checks and preparations. Remember, if you’re not sure, your local garage will always be able to help or advise.

Tips for getting your car winter-ready

  • Check fluid levels:  this includes your engine and automatic transmission oils, brake fluid, coolant(water) in your radiator and expansion tank (check if it has antifreeze in it), and windscreen wash.
  • Tyres: check your tyre pressure and tread depth, although 1.5mm is the legal limit, you really want at least 3mm of tread around the full width and circumference of the tyre during winter. Don’t forget to check the spare!
  • Snow chains: practice fitting on a sunny day so you’re ready when you need them. Unsure? Ask your local supplier or a friend for help and ensure you have the right fit for the car.
  • Battery: your battery hates cold mornings as much as you do. You can ask your local supplier to help you check.

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What if the battery is flat? How do I jump-start my car?

A. Removes the keys from both vehicles and ensure lights are off.

B. Connect the jump leads as set out below - make sure they are firmly attached:

  • First, attach one of the red clamps to the positive + terminal on the dead battery
  • Then, attach the other red clamp to the positive + terminal on the good battery
  • Attach one of the black clamps to the negative - terminal on the live battery
  • Finally, attach the other black clamp to the engine mounting, block or an unpainted metal surface on the dead car.

C. First start the car with the good battery.

D. Now only turn the ignition on of the dead car – do not try to start it – until justthe dashboard lamps are lit. Leave the dead car like this for 30 seconds to allow the car computers to re-boot.

E. Start the dead car and leave it running for five minutes. Turn the good car off and remove jump leads in the reverse order. Run the car dead battery for at least 30 minutes.

F. Have the battery and charging rate checked at your local garage.

Modern batteries may require charging by a garage or auto electrician to fully achieve the battery’s optimum potential.

TPP has a range of quality training programmes available on the West Coast including automotive, carpentry, engineering and agriculture - contact TPP today for more information.