Winter Checks.

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SplanK
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Winter Checks.

Post by SplanK » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:22 pm

This thread is to help those who may not know a huge amount about car maintenance to get their cars, and themselves through winter. This a general guide as to what to look for or what to do as winter can be quite harsh for cars, but with a few tips and some preparation, you can get through it without too much of a hitch! I invite people to add their tips/comments and I will merge those tips into this post to make it a useful reference.Engine StartPetrol - No real differenceDerv - Let the glow plugs do their work before starting the engine. Despite modern derv engines being extremely well build and refinement in the fuel, during really cold mornings (talking daft negative figures here) after your car has been sat over night it could be difficult to start, it is sometimes worth flicking your ignition off and back on again a couple of times after the glow plug light has gone off to give it a bit more of a boost.For both however, it is best to avoid letting the engine idle for a long period of time. Why? Because engine oil will be at its coldest and wont be as effective at doing its job. Idle does not heat the oil up as quick so this can increase ware on an engine. Best to start the engine, let it idle for a few seconds then set off gently.Defrosting/DemistingAlways defrost your windows and mirrors before setting off. Its just dangerous otherwise!If you have heated windscreen, then use that, otherwise do not use boiling hot water, a can of de-icer or luke warm water will work perfectly well. Top tip: Don't leave your can of de-icer in your car ;)Aircon works extremely well at demisting a car, however cracking open a couple of windows before getting also helps prevent misting in the first place.EngineCheck your fluid levels. Generally, coolant should be replaced every 2 years so if it has not been done in a while, now would be a perfect time!LightsDo they all work? Although they should work throughout the year, its more important with the dark nights. Don't forget to check your fogs!Are your headlights correctly aimed or do they try and light up the moon? If you don't clean your car regularly, give all of your lights a quick courtesy clean along with your number place. This will improve light output and the number plate clean will stop you getting points and a fine!WipersCheck them over and give them and your screen a good clean with white vinegar. If they are split or smear even after a clean then replace them!Avoid using your wipers when your screen is frozen. This will prematurely ware your wipers or cause them to rip/split. Always defrost your windows before operation.WashersRoad salt and general muck is a nightmare this time of year. Ensure you keep your washer bottle topped up with the correct amount of anti freeze. Nothing worse than needing to clean your screen but you find that your washers are frozen up!Sometimes you may need to defrost your washer spray nozzles so locate them and pour some warm water over them and ensure operation before setting off.Take with you a bottle of water, its not unusual as you are driving along for your washer jets to re-freeze. Using the water to either assist with defrosting or to use it to clean your windows until you find a safer place. TyresAre they legal (1.6mm over the middle 3/4) and are running at the correct pressure? This is the time of year where you really want the most amount of tread on your tyres. Some people may want to consider a set of winter tyres!If you have a spare, is it in good condition, inflated and jacks all present and correct?BatteryOld and weak batteries show their lack of strength more frequently during winter months. If you know yours is a bit ropey now might be a good time to get its condition checked and replaced. You don't want to be left in the middle of no where not being able to start it up!

SplanK2014-10-27 20:42:59
2014 Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T Tekna
2012 Micra 1.2 DIG-S Acenta


Kev1nDonn
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Winter Checks.

Post by Kev1nDonn » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:41 pm

Or move to a warm country and come back in the spring
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Kev1nDonn
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Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2014 5:28 pm

Winter Checks.

Post by Kev1nDonn » Sun Oct 26, 2014 9:45 pm

Sorry SplanK - could not resist that. The thought of Winter has left me cold. Good list of tips Sir.
SVE 1.5 dci in Metallic Grey with Full Leather (Black) and Driver Assist Pack.


rm0rgan
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Winter Checks.

Post by rm0rgan » Mon Oct 27, 2014 6:41 am

Oh, and don't forget to breath....breathing is important so you can stay alive.If you found any of these items in the list above 'new news' please close the door after you and stop breeding


ukwebb
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Winter Checks.

Post by ukwebb » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:01 am

[quote="SplanK"]BatteryWinter often kills batteries. If you know yours is a bit ropey now might be a good time to get its condition checked and replaced. You don't want to be left in the middle of no where not being able to start it up![/QUOTE]
Actually this is a common misconception. Heat KILLS batteries not cold.Primary point to think of. Most chemical reactions work faster and more aggressively when heated than when cold.Imagine the temperatures under your bonnet on a hot summers day especially along side your lovely hot engine. The temperatures get so hot under there that it speeds up the reaction between the acid and the plates eating away at the plates faster. Also a chemical called sulphate is deposited on these plates (like limescale in your kettle) and over time this can build up to create a barrier to the normal reaction, and again this happens faster in batteries in warm environments. You don't notice this 'damage' during the summer months as the reaction is assisted by the ambient air temperature.When it then comes to winter, and colder temperatures, the remaining components are damaged and weakened and hence don't work as well, especially as the air temperature is also working against re reaction.so to correct the quote above it should read " Old and weak batteries show their lack of strength more frequently during winter months.........."
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Gel
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Winter Checks.

Post by Gel » Mon Oct 27, 2014 7:50 am

Batteries & Cold:Also a known fact that the reason why many smoke alarms beep in the middle of night, and stoplater when heating's on, is that low temperatures drag battery voltage output down; in the case of smoke alarm with a 9v battery, the alarm's firmware will trigger a low battery chirp, at 7.4 volts.More modern alarms with sealed in lithium batteries have a much better tolerance of low temperatures. Fire Safety Message!Always wise to check your smoke alarms at clock changes, especially with the 5 day Fire Fightersstrike coming up in England!
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SplanK
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Location: Chorley, Lancs

Winter Checks.

Post by SplanK » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:27 pm

[quote="rm0rgan"]Oh, and don't forget to breath....breathing is important so you can stay alive.If you found any of these items in the list above 'new news' please close the door after you and stop breeding [/QUOTE]
Not everybody is that "up to speed" when it comes to general car maintenance. My wife for example is clueless most of the time when it comes to car maintenance, but posts like these would guide her into ensuring that there is at least an attempt made to ensure that the car is roadworthy. Granted most people on here are "self proclaimed experts" in all things automotive, but some people are not. Or some people sometimes just lack the common sense!
2014 Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T Tekna
2012 Micra 1.2 DIG-S Acenta


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SplanK
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Location: Chorley, Lancs

Winter Checks.

Post by SplanK » Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:28 pm

[quote="ukwebb"]<snip>so to correct the quote above it should read " Old and weak batteries show their lack of strength more frequently during winter months.........."[/QUOTE]
A bit pedantic really, but done done :)
2014 Qashqai 1.2 DIG-T Tekna
2012 Micra 1.2 DIG-S Acenta


gvmdaddy
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Winter Checks.

Post by gvmdaddy » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:09 pm

SplanK, "self ptoclaimed experts" I think you got it right there. I use this site, and others, to pass on views and tips regarding various things, but I never impose my views on others to be the one and only way to view something. Some people that make posts can sometimes be either a little insensitive or come across that their view is the only one that counts.


Donkey
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Winter Checks.

Post by Donkey » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:33 pm

This is a handy thread maybe SPlank will clean it up and lock itThere are many many people out there who simply do not have a clue about winter drivingHow often do you still see people driving with a foot of snow on there car and a tiny peep hole despite modern heaters etcId like to add in severe cold in a diesel i always turn ignition on let glow plugs go out switch off and do this againMay I point out daftly winter you need more fuel in the car simply as starting from cold takes longer than summer and not to forget often your caught in longer traffic jams, having more than a fiver in the tank often pays offIn winter a small shovel or old floor carpets in boot are a massive help, if stck do not forget jamming a floor mat under front wheels may just give you that little extraAnd finaly a litre bottle of drinking water in boot, sometimes washers freeze up as you drive and the road salt on windscreen builds up in a mile or so so a drinking water bottle you squirt in mouth ideal to spray out the window on front screen until you can find somewhere safe to pull overThis is a handy thread and as for batterys go ask the AA or RAC what weather gets them called out with there jump leads


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