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Published Date: 15/01/2014

AutumnWhether you like it not, autumn is a time when you have to think more seriously about how your car is going to stand up to colder weather in the run-up to winter.

While you can enjoy curling up at home with the heating on, you also need to be aware of how to keep your car in the best condition for the cold weather during autumn-time.

Vehicles can suffer as the result of the transition from summer to autumn and winter, with engines particularly requiring some close attention; you also need to pay attention to your tyres and hazards like leaves and changes in the weather. At Cooper BMW, we always recommend that our customers take the time to get the vehicle regularly maintained, and that they’re aware of hazards that could make it harder to get the most out of their car. What, then, should you be focusing on this autumn for your car?

Keep Up With Services

Make sure that your car is regularly serviced throughout the year, and particularly do so in autumn if you haven’t for a while. Checking your water pumps, spark plugs and hoses is crucial, and especially if you’re driving an older model that might experience problems with freezing pipes. Even if the cost might seem expensive at first, it’s better than breaking down in the middle of the road. We provide maintenance deals and servicing offers on our cars, so ensure that you know how to make the right investment in your car this autumn.

Check Your Tyres

It’s also worth checking your tyres for any scratches or problems with pressure in the autumn, as this can again lead to more serious problems later in the winter. Inspect your tyres for any noticeable problems, and also compare their pressure to the recommendations in your manual. The AA currently recommends that you inspect your tyre tread to ensure that there is at least 3mm of tread for winter driving. Investing in a new set of tyres, or buying some winter tyres, is worth considering if it fits within your maintenance schedule.

Test Your Battery

When you get your car serviced, ask your mechanic to test your battery, as well as your car’s charging system and belts. Car batteries can easily become damaged during the winter months, and are particularly vulnerable to problems caused by driving in bad weather conditions. A mechanic should be able to provide you with a ‘cold cranking amp’ measurement, which will indicate if your battery’s power levels are low; anything below 600 CCA is usually a sign of problems.

Monitor Your Cooling System

Always ensure that you have the correct level of coolant, as having too little could cause your engine to freeze, while too much can cause your spark plugs to melt. Ask your mechanic, or check with your manual for advice on the right levels for your model. Avoid guessing as this can lead to serious problems with your engine, and invest in high quality anti-freeze and coolant, as these will help to keep your engine block in a good condition.

Take Care of Your Wipers

One of the most important maintenance checks that you can carry out this autumn involves testing your wipers. Broken or slightly damaged wipers are going to make it difficult to cope with heavy rain, as well as debris that might have blown onto your windshield. Failure to maintain your visibility puts you and other drivers at risk, so know how to replace them if needed.

Watch Out for Leaves

Driving in autumn means having to deal with a lot of leaves and other debris on the road, which can cause problems in terms of visibility. Be particularly careful around patches of wet leaves on roads, as these can cause you to suddenly swerve and lose control of your car. Similarly, make sure that you regularly clean off leaves that have built up around your car, and check to see whether leaves are causing problems with reversing and easily navigating out of parking spots by your home.

Know How to Drive for Autumn Weather

Taking more caution in the autumn is generally recommended, and particularly if you’re going to be doing a lot of driving on country roads. Some of the general challenges to watch out for when driving in the autumn-time include low sun, as well as deep puddles and heavy wind when making corners. Moreover, when you’re driving on country roads, it’s crucial to be aware of verges and situations where turning suddenly might cause you to lose control of your vehicle. At Cooper BMW we’re serious about safe driving, and hope that this advice can give you some ideas on how to enjoy your car this autumn.

For more information on looking after your car this autumn and winter, contact your local Cooper BMW dealership today and ask about our Free BMW Winter Health Check promotion!

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