Although here in Marbella, we do have a relatively mild winter, there are occasions when severe weather occurs that can damage your vehicle. We may not experience the extreme cold the UK or some parts of Europe do. However, in recent years we have had a lot of flooding, extended periods (3 months) of rain and even hailstones the size of golf balls – that’s what those pockmarks are on some of the older vehicles you see in and around Marbella.
So to ensure your vehicle is in its optimal state before the cold winds start to howl, and rain becomes more frequent, winterise your car with our tips. Follow these to ensure a safe and enjoyable drive this winter season.
Check Your Tyres.
Tyres are an excellent place to start – check for uneven or thin tread wear. Replace any that are old or damaged. Reduced traction isn’t ideal in any weather – especially during the winter when the temperature drops and rain falls. You see, the air pressure decreases when it is cold, and most tyres lose one psi (pounds per square inch) for every 10F drop in temperature. For example, a fully inflated tyre at 80F is under-inflated at 20F. Under-inflated tyres are subject to failure or damage when being used on the road, so check your tyres regularly.
Yes, wax on, folks – not on your surfboards, but on your vehicle, as the cold and wet wintery weather can make paint (and shine) dull. The cold weather makes your vehicle susceptible to rust and oxidation. To keep your car clean and protected during winter, make sure to wax thoroughly before the season starts. Focus on the lower parts of your vehicle (panels, front grill, behind the wheels, etc.) as the grit hits hard and stays there the longest.
Always check and maintain proper fluid levels – it is an essential element in keeping your vehicle road-friendly and working correctly during winter. Fluids thicken as the temperatures drop. A common mistake is just forgetting to top up windscreen wiper fluid with “winter solution” so that it won’t change its consistency when the temperature drops. Also, check oil levels to prevent internal damage. Motor oil can become thicker when it is cold, so if you more or less need to service your car, Autumn is the time to do it, if not a full service, then an oil change will do.
Additionally, keep your petrol level at no less than halfway to prevent fuel line issues as the temperature drops. In older vehicles, you may need to check on additional liquids, for example, power steering, brake and gear fluids.
Test Your Battery.
In cold weather, battery capacity decreases significantly, so it’s essential to have your mechanic test and examine it to ensure optimum performance. Another way to protect your car battery is to park the car in a garage (as opposed to being out under extreme conditions). And just to be safe, have jumper cables handy.
Check Spark Plugs.
Like the battery, spark plugs weaken during winter and may cause your car not to start. Don’t let a bad spark plug affect your car’s reliability. Also, check for other ignition components and filters that can modify car performance. Just make sure everything is in tip-top shape when winter comes.
We hope that these tips can help you prepare for the winter. If you have any questions or suggestions on this subject, please don’t hesitate to comment below or use the contact form below. Visit our contact us page for more information.