Pre­par­ing for the ar­rival of win­ter

Middleton Guardian - - MIDDLETON PEOPLE -

TIM Shall­cross, IAM Road­S­mart head of tech­ni­cal pol­icy, gets ready for a cold snap... IT’S that time of year. Too late for hol­i­day ad­vice, too early to panic about bliz­zards or short­age of road salt, so ev­ery mo­tor­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion and jour­nal will be dust­ing off the ‘pre­pare your car for win­ter’ ar­ti­cles.

Check the lights, in­spect the tyres, test the an­tifreeze.

Heard it all be­fore? Of course you have – the same ad­vice has been trot­ted out ev­ery year since the Cortina was a best seller and the Mini was a small car. Cars change and tech­nol­ogy moves on. Let’s as­sume you know how to check your lights and tyres; in­stead, here are a few tips to keep you and your 21st cen­tury car on the win­ter roads with ev­ery­thing work­ing the way it should. WASH­ERS. Yes – fill the washer reser­voir with washer fluid and check the spray noz­zles are clear, but don’t for­get the head­lamp wash­ers.

If your car has Xenon lights (also called HID), there will be high­pres­sure wash­ers, usu­ally un­der a flap in the front bumper. These must be work­ing, other­wise you risk daz­zling other mo­torists when the lens gets dirty. To check them turn on the head­lamps, op­er­ate the wind­screen wash­ers and get a friend to watch the lights or look for the spray, which you’ll see over the front of the bon­net. LIGHT level switch. Talk­ing of daz­zling other driv­ers, if you don’t have Xenon lamps, you will prob­a­bly have a head­lamp level switch, usu­ally num­bered 0 to 4. You’re sup­posed to turn the switch ac­cord­ing to how the car is loaded.

Many of the com­plaints about daz­zling head­lights are be­cause peo­ple for­get to ad­just the level. Zero is usu­ally just the driver and no lug­gage, four is for a full load, but check the hand­book for your car. LEAVES. Leaves never used to hurt a car but they can now! Lift the bon­net, look in the en­gine bay around the area of the bon­net hinges. You’ll see a cham­ber on each side that col­lects water as it drains from the wind­screen. These cham­bers have drain holes in the bot­tom to keep them dry, but leaves can block the drains. If water stays in the cham­bers it can leak into the car, of­ten soak­ing sen­si­tive elec­tronic bits, lead­ing to very ex­pen­sive re­pairs. Get any leaves or other de­bris out of the cham­bers and if water is present, root around un­til you find the drain holes and un­block them. STEAMY win­dows. Get some soapy water and kitchen roll or a clean mi­crofi­bre cloth and clean the in­sides of all the win­dows. Get­ting them squeaky clean will dra­mat­i­cally re­duce the glare from the low au­tumn sun on morn­ing and evening drives, and it will make the win­dows much less likely to mist up in damp weather. CABIN air fil­ter. To­day’s cars have a fil­ter for the air en­ter­ing the car through the heater. Of­ten called the pollen fil­ter, it can of­ten get over­looked at a ser­vice and if it’s full of dirt, your heater will be much less ef­fi­cient. Worse still, if it’s wet – which can hap­pen if you don’t clear those leaves out of the cham­bers – your win­dows will con­stantly mist up as the heater pumps damp air into them. Chang­ing the fil­ter is usu­ally a sim­ple DIY job.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.