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Get your car ready this Christmas with Wash Doctors

8 essential car checks you can do yourself before you set off on a long journey.

Image courtesy Grace & Glory

Christmas is only a week away and we can already hear the sound of rustling wrapper paper and carols being sung in the car. There are all those extra shopping excursions and visits to relatives, and so this is the time of the year we tend to do a bit more driving than usual.

Whether it’s long trips to your family or shorter trips to shopping malls; car journeys in winter require a little more preparation. The last thing you need when you hit the road is to have your car breakdown because you neglected to give it a thorough check beforehand. To help avoid these problems, follow these simple steps to ensure your vehicle stays healthy over Christmas.

Prepare your car for the long journey

Frosty temperatures and poor weather means breakdowns can double throughout the winter. Not only can cold weather take its toll under the bonnet, but poor conditions can make driving hazardous if your car is not well maintained.  We want to help make sure your car is winter-proof and so follow these 8 simple steps:

Get your car serviced

First things first and let's face it, we all have priorities, but if your car is due for a service, the worst thing you can do is avoid it. The second is to do it on your own. Here are some simple car maintenance checks. 

1. Engine Oil Check

Oil is the vital part of your engine, if not looked after properly, it could cause major engine damage. Use your dipstick to check the oil levels before you set off on your journey. Top up if your levels are low or if the oil is really dirty, change the oil altogether. Use your car manual to locate the correct oil for your car. Here’s your simple guide on how to top up your car fluids.

2. Antifreeze/ Coolant

Coolant is as crucial to your engine as engine oil, as it keeps it it from overheating. It’s vital that you check the coolant level regularly. In winter it’s especially important to use antifreeze as it will stop the liquid in the radiator from turning to ice. 

Pro Tip - Keep ready-mixed coolant in your boot for when you need to top it up.

3. Battery Check

It’s often more difficult for a battery to operate in cold weather. As a result, even a stable battery can encounter problems on the road. It’s important that you get your battery tested before setting off on a long journey to make sure that it’s still in good working order. If not, buy a new battery as soon as possible to minimise the chances of being left stranded in the cold parking lot with a car that won’t start.

Pro Tip: Visit your local Halfords and take advantage of free WeFit service.

4. Tire Maintenance

Whether the weather is cold or wet, one thing you can be certain of in winter is that the roads will be slippery. Ensure your tires are pumped up to the required pressure, find out more here. It’s crucial to have a sufficient amount of thread in your tires to avoid skidding on the road, check that out more here.

5. Lights

As the winter settles in, the days will be shorter. Driving with faulty lights can be a major hazard to yourself and others. This can affect your car journey significantly. As a result, you’ll want to double check all your lights are in excellent shape, providing the brightest possible illumination they can. If your headlight units are foggy or yellow, consider replacing them or look into an easy restoration kit. Our experts recommend AutoGlym for the best results. 

By law you’re also mandated to carry a spare bulb kit If you are driving to Europe.

6. Wiper Blades

Wiper blades usually have a lifespan of about a year. Winter can be very impactful and frost can cause the rubber in the blades to rip apart. If your blades are making noise, leaving smudge or not working altogether, consider replacing them as soon as possible with the new Beam Blades style wipers which are longer lasting and effective especially for the winter months. 

7. Emergency Kit

Although this isn’t a car tip as much as a winter precaution tip, an emergency kit can really maximise safety and readiness for winter. 

8. Wash Doctors comes to you

Rain, wind, and sun are the enemies of your car. A dirty car can lead to poor performance, by regularly cleaning your vehicle you can avoid the damaging buildup of dirt and grime. 

Once you have ticked the above steps, why not go the extra mile and make sure your car looks brand new this time of the year. 

Whether it’s work hours that are postponing your car wash, or the daunting task of washing your car in this frosty weather. With Wash Doctors and our team of professional car wash experts, you never have to worry about washing your car again. 

Simply go to the wash doctors iPhone app here to pinpoint your car location and details, select a service and that’s it! We take care of the rest for you. It's that easy!



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