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My husband and I just got a new car last week, so when Fife Autocentre asked me to share some of our car maintenance tips for autumn and winter with you, I thought the timing was very apt.

Your car has different needs in the colder months of the year, as driving conditions can be at their worst and breakdowns increase dramatically as a result. In the spring and summer, things can be fairly mild and dry; but in autumn and winter, you have the likes of snow, ice and hail to contend with. There are lots of things you can do, however, to make sure your car is equiped for these more hazardous seasons.

Check your car battery

Cold, damp weather can really harm your battery. The additional use of things such as car heaters and lights at this time of year can drain it too, so don’t use these for longer than is necessary. You don’t want to get in your car on a cold morning, turn your key and hear it fail to start. It’s definitely worth getting a car specialist to check your battery for you when the cold weather starts to set in. They can also replace it for you if it needs it – this is usually needed at least every 5 years and costs less than £100.

Check your radiators

Anti-freeze is a liquid found in your radiator that prevents your engine and radiators from freezing during cold weather. You need to make sure that your anti-freeze levels are always topped up – you can pick bottles up from local car garages or retailers like Halfords, for no more than £5.

Whilst we’re on the topic of anti-freeze, you should also make sure your car is also always topped up with a de-icer screen wash so that you always maintain good visibility.

Check your exhaust

At the start of winter, you should have your exhaust checked by a specialist. They will examine the exhaust system for leaks and holes, as these can be deadly. Car exhaust replacement in Dundee is available at Fife Autocentre.

Check your tyres

Your car will likely need different tyres in the colder months of the year to be able to cope with the hazardous weather conditions and give you better grip on the roads. You also need to make sure that your tyres aren’t worn, as this is especially dangerous at this time of year. Either yourself, or using a specialist, check your tyre tread, wear and tear and your tyre pressure (weekly). The minimum tread depth required by the law is 1.6mm, but you should ideally be at around 3mm during this time of year. Always make sure you have a spare winter tyre in your boot too!

Check your oil level

Like at all times of the year, you should continue to check your car’s oil level weekly. Oil keeps your engine working, and if it is low enough, it can cause irrepairable damage to it, costing you a lot of money to replace. You check your oil easily and quickly with a dipstick, ensuring that your level sits between the minimum and maximum measurement markings on the stick.

Check your lights

The mornings and the evenings are a lot darker at this time of year, so it’s important to constantly check that all your car’s exterior lights are working correctly and aren’t damaged. It’s also important that you keep them free of dirt so they can be seen clearly. You must also remove any snow from your car before driving it too.

Keep an in-car emergency kit

Keep a box in your car boot with things in it that you would need during an emergency or car maintenance situation. Things worth including are gloves, a torch, a small shovel, a car charger/jump leads, a window scraper, de-icer screen wash, a high-vis vest, a tow rope, wellie boots and some snacks.

This is a sponsored post with Fife Autocentre, but all opinions are my own.

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