Winter motoring maintenance

It would be fair to state that we have not (as yet) endured the worst weather of the year, states motoring journalist Iain Robertson, who recalls the onslaught of Siberian conditions carried by last year’s ‘Beast from the East’.

Prevention is invariably better than cure; an old-style expression that carries as much weight, when related to domestic issues, as it does, when discussing our cars. It is not false economy to prepare for eventualities, especially when we do not know what might be flung at us. On the other hand, our present mild weather conditions, with the occasional cold day for good measure, can lead us into a sense of false security.

Yet, there is no need to worry about the steps taken towards preventative maintenance, as they might not factor-in heavy costs at all, which ought to be joy to your eyes and ears, let alone your wallet, in what is always one of the most financially stressful months of the year. In fact, while the weather conditions are favourable, it is not a bad idea to subject your vehicle to an annual Mr Clutch Autocentre Winter Safety Check (mrclutch.com/winter-safety-check).

The process is very simple. For a start, the 12-Point Winter Safety Check costs a mere £19.99 (the equivalent of four steaks and a bottle of wine), at any Mr Clutch Autocentre nationwide. You can book in your car, or van, online, without delay.

Your vehicle’s battery and alternator take a lot of extra hammer during the colder months. Checked thoroughly by a Mr Clutch Autocentre technician, any weakness in the system will be highlighted, such as a loose drive belt. In fact, all engine drive belts will be checked for their tension and possible wear.

During winter months, we rely much more on our car’s headlights and wipers and it can be very easy not to notice that a bulb has blown, which could be most compromising in safety terms, let alone in attracting unwelcome attention. The Mr Clutch Autocentre technician will also check the condition of your vehicle’s wiper-blades. Worn blades can make clear vision impossible, perhaps even obscuring possible hazards and leading to visual confusion, which can be most distressing, especially during the hours of darkness, or while in heavy traffic.

Both the level and quality of engine coolant will be checked to ensure that your vehicle’s engine can tolerate the next cold snap. While beneath the bonnet, the Mr Clutch Autocentre technician will also check the quality and amount of engine oil. Old lubricating oil can contain water droplets, as well as a dramatic reduction in its efficiency. Both power steering and brake fluid reservoirs will be checked and, if necessary, topped-up at the same time.

The engine will be inspected thoroughly for any fluid leaks, before the windscreen washer bottle is topped-up with appropriate antifreeze. Finally, the tyre tread depths and pressures will be checked and the air levels adjusted to the required safe standard. In all, the 12-Point Winter Safety Check will take no longer than 20-minutes to carry out but could save you both time and money in the future.

It makes economic sense to carry out a check like this, before wintry conditions do take a hold. Planning for the worst weather will always pay dividends, so, book online now, for your Mr Clutch Autocentre 12-Point Winter Safety Check (mrclutch.com/winter-safety-check).