September 14, 2021 at 10:02 AM

MOTOR CITY PLYMOUTH

As we say goodbye to the summer and hello to winter, driving conditions can become very treacherous on the roads. Therefore, it’s important to keep up safety checks on your vehicle.

This doesn’t have to be arduous; we’ve made a list of some useful tips to help you keep you and your family safe over the cold and wet season.

1. CHECK YOUR OIL AND DON’T IGNORE THE WARNING SIGNS

Your dipstick is the key to not only checking your oil levels, but the health of your oil too. It may be advisable to visit Motor City Plymouth for an oil change. The RAC recognises that many roadside assistance they have attended, vehicles are dangerously low on oil, which as a consequence, can lead to a breaking down or much worse, extensive and expensive damage. You should check the oil level once your car is fully warmed up. A cold car will look low on oil. Note well, too much oil can be as bad as too little.

2. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE PLENTY OF FUEL IN YOUR TANK

Many of us leave filling up our tanks with fuel to the last minute, you should always check in advance of any journeys, that you have plenty of fuel. Don’t try and squeeze out the last few miles if your fuel light comes on, this isn’t good for the engine either. Just like us, we need fuel to function properly and there is very little difference with your vehicle too!

3. KEEP YOUR LIGHTS CLEAN AND MAKE SURE THEY SHINE BRIGHT!

Our vehicles are not self-cleaning, and need washing, paying particular attention to your lights is imperative, there is also a lot of salt on the roads and this can cause issues. Therefore, it is particularly important to keep your lights clean – with some warm soapy water or a damp cloth, give them a good rub; you’ll be amazed at the difference that this will make! Stay seen!

Did you know? You can lose 40% of luminosity in about 20 miles on a damp, gritted motorway, according to road safety charity Road Smart.  

It’s a legal requirement for your registration plate to be visible at all times, it is equally important to wipe down your number plate too. You could face a fine if you drive around with an unreadable registration plate, check out the legal requirement on the official government website 

As part of our After Sales Package, we offer our customers a FREE wash and vac each month. Call 01752 344414 to book your appointment. 

4. YOU MUST TEST YOUR BATTERY!

Did you know that your car battery is more at risk of going flat during the cold, wet and icy weather? According to the RAC and Green Flag 

At Motor City Plymouth, we would highly recommend changing your battery every three years. Call our service team to book your car in for a battery check 01752 344414.

Green Flag suggest that the warning signs of battery failure include the engine turning over more slowly than usual when starting it. Also, the red battery light in the instrument display may start to flicker when you’re driving or take longer than usual to go out after you’ve started the engine. This can cause a drain on the battery, making it less efficient. These signs are not to be ignored.

5. DON’T IGNORE DASHBOARD WARNING SIGNS

In a recent survey, 2000 UK adults were surveyed and it was revealed that 46% of drivers ignore alerts. 

Don’t ignore, TAKE ACTION! These lights are warning you that something isn’t right with your vehicle.

6. CHECK THOSE TYRES

Don’t assume your tyres are healthy. Worn and tired tyres are extremely dangerous and if faulty, can cause fatalities on the roads, especially, during extreme wet and cold conditions.

Tyres need a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm by law, but in winter, experts such as the RAC recommended you change your tyres at 3mm to maintain safe stopping distances. Don’t forget to check you have a roadworthy spare too; check out the 20p piece tyre tread test. Simply, place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.

If you drive on rural or uneven roads, consider investing in some snow chains/socks or winter tyres. At Motor City Plymouth, we can do this for you.

7.  TOP UP SCREEN WASH AND CHECK YOUR WIPERS

Your windscreen wipers should always be in excellent condition and kept clean and clear at all times. A gentle wipe with a dry cloth wouldn’t go a miss. Please don’t pull wiper blades off frozen glass or turn them on if the screen is iced over, as the rubber may tear and break off.

Keep your windscreen wash bottle topped up, you’ll rely on this during the winter when it’s wet and muddy, there is a lot of salt on the road too. Not only is it dangerous to not have fluid in a vehicle's screen wash bottle, it is a legal requirement too.

8. TOP UP YOUR ANTI-FREEZE

Antifreeze stops the water in the engine's cooling system from freezing, so make sure yours is topped up.

Coolant should be changed every 2 - 5 years, depending on the car and the type of coolant required.

At Motor City Plymouth, we can do this for you as part of the Supagard Winter Package. We will wash and protect your vehicle in readiness for the winter season, this will help maintain your vehicle, and we will also top up your anti-freeze too!

9. IS YOUR CAR DUE FOR A SERVICE?

We, at Motor City Plymouth, very much recommend that you book your vehicle in for a winter service, you can call our helpful team on 01752 344414.

A service is usually recommended every 12,000 miles or every 12 months. But every car is different, so check your owner’s handbook for the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule. Therefore, book your vehicle in for a service as soon as possible.

We offer our customers a FREE 6 month health check and we have specialist equipment to identify any problems with your vehicle. 

10. DON’T IGNORE YOUR BRAKES

Brakes should be in excellent working order at all times, no matter what the season.

If they are squeaking, sticking or just don’t feel right, you MUST get them CHECKED right away. Make sure you check them on a daily basis, even if the car has been in the garage or parked outside your home.

11. ENSURE YOU ARE ARMED WITH THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT

It would be beneficial to have the following items on board! You never know when you may need to use them.

1.    Ice scraper & plenty of de-icer

2.    Warning triangle

3.    Warm clothing, blanket or sleeping bag

4.    Practical footwear

5.    Torch with extra batteries

6.    Fully charged mobile phone & charger

7.    Shovel (if it’s snowing heavy)

8.    Something to nibble on, just in case you become hungry

We hope that this useful service blog is helpful to you.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact our helpful and friendly team on Plymouth 01752 344414, or you can pop into our showroom and chat to us if you have any concerns! 

See you soon and look out for our next useful blog!


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