Looking after your car in winter

Motoring 2018-11-5

Taking proper care of your car is vital during the winter months - check out our top tips for keeping it running when the cold weather hits.

We all know that you need to take extra care during the winter months to make sure that your car is running on top form and to prevent any unnecessary damage. It’s important to make regular health checks to not only ensure the safety of your vehicle but also to save some money too.


It’s always good to keep an eye on your tyres to make sure that there are no signs of wear and tear as well any damage caused by potholes or debris from the road. Don’t forget to test your tyre pressure either. Low pressure will not only shorten the life of the tyre, but can decrease your fuel efficiently meaning you will be spending more cash at the garage.

Ensure your tread depth is at least 1.6mm, which is the legal requirement on UK roads. A simple way of checking is by doing the 20p test. Insert a 20 pence piece into your tread and if your tyre comes above the outer band of the coin, then it’s above the legal limit.

Body work

Salt corrosion can be one of the more expensive issues to get fixed at a garage if you don’t take preventive measures. When dealing with minor corrosion, give the area a good clean with warm soapy water or try using a bit of white vinegar on an old tea towel to give it a good wipe down. Either one of these two ways will work and help stop the damage spreading.

If the corrosion is more severe then you may have to take a trip to your local hardware shop to buy some rust and corrosion remover. Make sure that you follow the instructions on the product and this may save you a costly trip to the mechanic.


It doesn’t hurt to pop your bonnet and have a look under there every once in a while. If you haven’t used the car for a period of time, you may be surprised to come across insects or an animal nest. Things like this can clog up your car and affect its performance.

Anyone who drives a car will know how important it is to make sure that your oil is always topped up. If your car hasn’t been driven in a while, there’s a chance that oil will have dripped down to the bottom of the drain pan, leaving your cylinders dry. There is an easy way to resolve this problem and that is to ‘fog the engine’. This basically means using a specially formulated spray containing petroleum that will keep your engine lubricated and prevent corrosion.

The best way to do this is to start the engine, remove the air filter and spray into the air intake of each cylinder. Once you have done this, leave the engine on for a further 10 seconds and turn it off.  Finally, remove the spark plugs and spray your fog oil into each cylinder before replacing them.

Hitachi Top Tip

An easy way to remember to keep on top of your car’s health is FLOWER. Before setting off, check:

  • Fuel
  • Lights
  • Oil
  • Water
  • Electrics
  • Rubber

If you have any other tips that you think are helpful and that we haven’t talked about then tweet us @Hitachi_Finance or leave a comment on our Facebook page.

Hitachi Hints and Tips is intended to be informative and interesting. It does not constitute financial advice, and you should always do further research when making any financial decisions. All information was correct at date of publication.


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