As the cooler months set in, it’s time to think about how we look after our cars with some winter car care tips. In the UAE, we’re fortunate enough to avoid the harshest winter weather, so for us, things such as icy roads and extremely cold temperatures aren’t too much of a problem.
However, there are a few things we can all do to make sure our car is ready for the winter months. Here are our top five tips that will get you through the wetter weather, and can be added to your car checklists at any other time of the year too.
Nothing will destroy an engine faster than letting it run out of oil. Engine oil is essential to make sure every internal moving part is correctly lubricated. Metal-on-metal friction with no lubrication will wear out key components incredibly quickly, causing real damage or even engine failure. Make sure your engine oil is between the minimum and maximum levels on your dipstick and top up if necessary.
While we don’t get snow and ice in the UAE, we do get unexpectedly foggy days, rain, and darker evenings. To make sure you can see and be seen, check that your headlight lenses are clean and scratch-free. After a while, you may find that your headlight covers take on a slightly ‘milky’ look. This can dramatically diminish the amount of visible light your headlights produce. If your headlights are scratched, you can get them professionally cleaned and polished so that they look like new. If they’re beyond saving, it could be time to replace them.
Winter in the UAE can mean wet roads. This means that the condition of your tyres is even more important. Worn tyres will not displace the water as effectively, and can lead to a risk of ‘aquaplaning’. This is when the tyre loses traction with the surface of the road and the car effectively ‘floats’ on top of the layer of water. Properly maintained tyres at the correct pressure can give you more grip, better traction, and reduce the risk of skidding or aquaplaning.
While tyres give you the grip you need on wet roads, you also need stopping power. As the winter months mean slippery wet roads and tougher driving conditions, why not book in for a brake check and make sure your brakes are in tip-top condition? Brake checks are part of your regular services but if you’re a few thousand kilometres away from your next service, don’t wait until then to do something about it. Get a professional check-up on your braking system to make sure pads, discs and hoses are all in good condition.
All summer long, there’s been no need to use your windscreen wipers. However, once the winter sets in, you need to make sure that they’re working efficiently. Our top tip: Before you think you may need to use them for the first time, give your windscreen wipers and windscreen a wash in warm soapy water. Over the summer, fine grains of dirt, dust and sand can stick to the blades. The first time you use your wipers, this dust and sand can turn into an abrasive paste that will damage the blade edge, reducing the wiper’s efficiency.
Are you ready for the winter? If you have any questions about winter driving or would like to book your car in for a service to get it winter-ready, talk to the team at Al-Futtaim Automall today.