Preparing Your Car for the Australian Winter Checklist
April 28, 2021
Australia might be considered a hot country, but it does get cold. Make sure your car is ready for it and prepare for your next road trip. You should have a first aid kit and make it a point to check the car engine.
During the winter weather season, these tips can help you prepare your car for the harshness that Australia brings each year. Your vehicle is going to thank you for taking care of it.
Your car is likely to have to work harder in the cold. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check the car’s electrical components so that the battery doesn’t fail.
You should always make sure that the battery terminals are tight and clean. It’s easy to dust it with a cloth to prevent any build-up. Plus, you can watch for sulfation.
Try not to park on the lawn because the condensation from the grass could collect on the engine or ignition parts and cause leakage.
While you may not think to look at the battery before each road trip, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of doing this. That way, you know everything is good with your vehicle before you get out in the cold.
Most modern battery systems are sealed. However, if yours isn’t, consider checking the water levels regularly and top it off with distilled water until it’s above the plates.
If you feel that there is a problem, do not hesitate to get your battery tested at an auto-electrician shop. You can always change your battery if you think that the system isn’t working correctly.
The engine can’t run if the ignition system fails. Therefore, you should always check the ignition components, spark plugs, leads, and distributor cap on your car to make sure that they are in good condition.
It’s also a good idea to look for corroded or loose connections. Spray all of the ignition leads with silicone spray to protect them. If you notice that the car is hesitating, using more fuel, or sounds rough, please make sure it gets expert service from an auto technician.
Before each road trip in your car, it’s a good idea to check the lights. Australia can get pretty dark at night, and you don’t want to be driving along and find that you can’t see what’s in front of you.
The cold can affect the lights and cause the lamps to get dirty from the salt spray used on the roads. Therefore, make sure that the lamps and headlight covers are clean. If you’re going on a long trip, clean your lamps when you stop for petrol. That way, you have more visibility. It can also be a good idea to carry spare globes for an emergency.
Your car’s belts should also be checked before you go on a road trip or before winter hits. Turn off the engine first and then look for deterioration or cracks. Minor cracks are still a huge concern because they can break quickly. Change any belts that are suspect.
It’s a good idea to check the belt tension, too. If you’re not sure how to do that, you can look in the owner’s manual that came with the vehicle. Some people may not feel comfortable doing that themselves. Call a trusted mechanic for assistance if needed. You should also carry a spare belt with you in case you’re on the road when an issue occurs.
Tyres and Wheels
Your tyres are the most important part of your car, but most people neglect them. While they don’t mean to, it’s something that you don’t think to check until there’s a safety issue on the road.
The tyres are the only thing between the road and you, so they are essential. Wet roads are common in winter, and that can be a huge hazard if the tyres aren’t the best.
Low tyre pressure can easily cause excessive tyre wear, poor handling, poor brake performance, and damage to the sidewalls. Therefore, make sure you check the tyre pressure regularly. It’s best if the vehicle is cold when that happens, so it shouldn’t travel more than 3km.
It’s easy to check the tyres on-site before you leave on your trip. Look for uneven tread and excessive wear. Replace any tyres that don’t look decent. The minimum legal tread for Australia is 1.5mm.
While checking the tyres, make sure you focus on the wheels and what you can see of the brakes. If you notice any screeching when applying the brakes, consider going to a trusted automobile technician.
Additional Things to Check
You should check all the fluid levels in your car. This includes the oil, radiator fluid, and other routine maintenance checks. Choose a windscreen cleaning solution and put it in a spray bottle with a clean cloth so that you can clean the lights and windscreen anytime.
Vehicles all have windscreen wiper rubbers. Make sure that yours are in good condition before going anywhere. This enhances your safety, but it also helps you see better and more easily.
It’s also a good idea to check the heating and air conditioning in your car. That way, the rear and front demisters work correctly, and you can see out the windows sooner.
The advice in this checklist isn’t everything you should do for your car, but it can help. The engine needs to be protected, so make it a point to perform regular maintenance so that you’re prepared. Most of these things can be done on-site. Save this list to refer back to later. If you need any assistance or have any question please contact Westside Auto Wholesale today.