The cold and intensity of winter in Australia is extremely variable. If you’re in the top end of Queensland or Darwin, you may not notice much of a change in weather at all (it’s either wet or dry!).
However, as you start to head south, the temperatures drop, the winds increase, as can the rain. And, in some regions you’ll experience ice, sleet and snow.
In short, you can experience the full range of seasonal weather conditions in an Australian winter. You don’t want to be dealing with a car breakdown at any time, seasonal winter weather makes breakdowns even worse!
So, what does this weather mean for your winter car care? How do you ensure that your car is ready for the conditions? Here are a few winter car care tips.
Have your car serviced
This isn’t just seasonal advice, your car should be regularly serviced to ensure that it is fit to be driven and will keep you, your passengers and others safe. A regularly serviced car will also limit environmental damage from exhaust emissions.
Check your windscreen for cracks
Have you noticed any small chips or cracks in the windscreen of your car? Cooler temperatures or, extremes in weather overnight, can result in the cracks spreading.
Large cracks in windscreens are a driving hazard as they impair vision and can sometimes result in your windscreen shattering.
If you notice cracks in your windscreen, have them treated or replace the windscreen outright.
Windows and wiper blades need checking
During winter, car windows can fog up, be covered in ice and experience torrential rain. If you discover any bends or broken pieces on your wiper blades, replace them to ensure that rain and moisture can be effectively removed while driving.
Also make sure the fluid levels in your washer bottles are correct during winter. You may need to use the washer function to remove ice and grit from your windscreens during winter.
You may wish to consider using an anti-fog treatment on your windows to ensure you have adequate visibility.
One handy winter car care tip is to keep a squeegee in your car for removing dew or ice from your windscreens and windows to ensure that you have good visibility.
Check your car battery
Most modern car batteries last about 3 ½ years before they need replacing. Cooler winter weather can be tough on your car battery – you use more heating, demisters, windscreen wipers and lights.
Car battery life can be checked as a part of your regular car servicing. If the potential battery life is short coming into winter, then you may prefer to replace the battery ahead of a breakdown due to a flat battery in the peak of winter.
Inspect the tread on your tyres
As seasonal road conditions vary, knowing that your car tyres are ready for the road is a vital winter car care tip. Depending on where you live, it is illegal to have car tyre tread of less than a certain depth. Replace your tyres immediately if you discover low tread.
Ensure that the air pressure in your tyres is as prescribed for your car. Incorrectly inflated tyres affects the braking range of your car. In wet, winter weather, you want to have the greatest possible braking distance available to you.
If you are driving into any of the ski fields in Australia, you may wish to use chains for extra traction.
Check your headlights, indicators and fog lights
Again, this isn’t just a seasonal winter car care tip – check to see that all of your car’s lights are in good working order. Visibility can be reduced in winter with fog, rain and other conditions. Ensuring that your car is visible to other vehicles is vital.
Are your gauges working?
Check that your fuel and temperature gauges are in working order. This can be done at your car service.
Garage your car
If it’s possible, keep your car in a garage or undercover. Dew and parking on wet lawns can increase condensation in your car, which can lead to rust or, interference with car electrics.
You’ll have safe and happy travels in cooler weather if you follow these winter car care tips..