Top five tips for winter car preparation (beyond the usual!)
Performance cars spend a lot of time tucked away over winter. But when you do get a bright, crisp day - you want to get your motor out of hibernation and on the road. How do you avoid the most common issues you can face when running and storing your car during the winter?
Here are our top tips for winter car essentials (you can buy some of the products we suggest here).
(Note: this isn't your usual list of products like scrapers and de-icers! If you need one of those, visit the AA).
1. Prepare for a dead battery
If you're keeping your car under cover to avoid the worst of the weather, then you might find when you come to run it that the battery has given up. Especially if you tinker with the odd part under the bonnet without taking it out for a proper burn. Test your battery before you put it away so that you can replace it if you need to.
Ideally, use something like a CTEK trickle charger. If that doesn't work - or you don't have one - then as an insurance, invest in a portable battery pack like our brilliant Portable Power Pack.
2. Add a fuel stabiliser to avoid fuel spoiling or fuel tank corrosion
There is a long running-debate when hibernating your car: whether to fill the tank with fuel or leave it empty.
As it gets colder, there is more moisture in the air and condensation can form in the fuel tank. Modern fuels tend to contain ethanol which is hygroscopic. That means it will absorb moisture from the atmosphere which leads to the fuel breaking down, with the potential for the petrol and ethanol elements to split. Which is terrible. This condensation, when left unchecked, can also cause your fuel tank to rust (hence why people advise leaving a tank full).
A good fuel stabiliser can prevent this by introducing ingredients into the fuel that actively absorb any moisture and prevent fuel breakdown. This allows the moisture to go through and be combusted as normal. This is likely to become more of an issue with the introduction of E10 fuel (read all about that here).
We highly rate the Klotz Higher Octane Booster as an effective fuel stabiliser. It also offers fuel system cleaning and octane benefits.
3. Use a fuel system treatment
Everything gets a hard time in the winter, so it's a good idea - and cheap insurance - to run some fuel system cleaner through your tank and run it through.
4. Have a tyre pressure pump handy
Tyre pressure can have a tremendous impact on vehicle stability when being used, but also on the tyre structure when being stored. If storing, make sure tyres are pumped up at the higher end of the pressure range to ensure they keep the best shape possible. Periodically check them. When using your car through winter, grip becomes tremendously important through rain and icy conditions. Even one tyre at low pressure can effect the stability of the vehicle and its ability to find traction or grip.
If you've got a plug-in tyre pressure pump that's powered from a 12v socket, this can be powered by our Portable Power Packs without impacting your car battery. Trust us, it's massively convenient!
5. Make sure you keep emergency items to hand
Load your car with the essentials should you get stuck. Create a handy bag including:
- ice scraper
- warm clothes
- dry food and water
- space blanket
You're more likely to end up stuck in your car or queuing in traffic so seriously consider what you would do in the event of a fire. We supply the excellent Fire Safety Sticks which can be stored pretty much anywhere without the need for servicing.
Whatever car you're running, get ahead of winter car worries and enjoy those bracing winter drives when the time comes!