Keeping Your Engine Running Smoothly

The winter months in the UK often create havoc on the roads. While much of this may be unavoidable, many accidents and breakdowns happen as a result of the car-owner not taking the proper precautions to ensure a car remains in good working order. The low temperatures, ice and snow can be harsh on the engine of a car, so every step possible should be taken to ensure that it is in the best condition possible. Unfortunately, too many people fail to think about their engine until they are stood by the side of an icy road waiting for breakdown assistance. Following a few simple steps should ensure that the engine in a car is ready for the cold winter ahead.

Arrange a Full Service in Advance

Only a trained mechanic will be able to ensure that an engine is ready for the challenges of the cold months ahead. The best way to protect an engine is by changing the oil before the cold snap arrives. There are some specially formulated winter-grade engine oils on the market which are slightly thinner than other grades. This allows them to move faster and lubricate the engine quickly during colder weather. A mechanic will also check the fuel filter. Disposable filters should be changed in advance, and permanent filters should be cleaned thoroughly. This will stop any impurities from getting into the engine, as they can affect its performance.

Make Some Subtle Changes to Driving Habits

Driving in cold weather will always be more demanding on the engine. It is a good idea to leave the engine running for around twenty seconds before pulling away, as this will give the oil a chance to start circulating. Engines will be working much harder, so it is a good idea to keep revs down to a minimum with slightly earlier gear changes. Top speeds should also be limited wherever possible. It may also be a good idea to pay for a mid-winter service or tune-up. This may cost a little extra, but it could save money if more comprehensive repairs are required further down the line.

Photo: Phototom – Fotolia

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