Preparing your Mercedes-Benz for the winter

PUBLISHED: 10:06 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:06 30 November 2018

Driving along road in winter. Picture: Unsplash

Driving along road in winter. Picture: Unsplash

Unsplash

What steps can you take to prepare your car for winter driving? Should you have a special winter car check, and what does that involve?

Interior of Mercedes Benz. Picture: UnsplashInterior of Mercedes Benz. Picture: Unsplash

The worst time to begin thinking about winter car maintenance is when your vehicle breaks down or fails to start in sub-zero temperatures or extreme weather such as freezing hail, sleet or snow, just as you are running late for an important business meeting, a flight, or those long holiday trips we often make to visit family or friends.

So, what advance steps can you take to prepare your vehicle for winter driving? Should you have a special winter car service, and what does that involve?

Fortunately there are some basic winter car care tips to save you the expense and inconvenience of a breakdown or a flat battery.

Even the most reliable and well-maintained motor will benefit from a winter check and a few precautions against the cold and wet weather.

Mercedes-Benz specialists and technicians pride themselves on the quality and expertise of their service. They can provide first-class advice on winter car care, as well as winter car checks and servicing, to keep Mercedes-Benz owners moving in the comfort and style they are used to.

Avantgarde Automotive is an independent Mercedes-Benz specialist in Clevedon, offering servicing, repairs, diagnostics and MOTs. Owner Steve Mowat has 20 years’ experience in the prestige and specialist sector of the motor industry. He said the right car care in the winter is particularly important.

“Many of the important things you need to pay attention to during the cold season are exactly the same things you need to be aware of at any other time of year,” he said. “It’s just that the cold and wet weather can cause sudden failures to your vehicle and the consequences can be somewhat more inconvenient, or possibly severe.”

In other words, less-than-perfect maintenance during warmer weather might make your car’s performance less smooth and efficient. But neglecting the same checks in cold, wet weather can cause serious damage to the engine, as well as making driving dangerous.

For example, not having any screenwash in the summer means your windscreen won’t be as clean as it could be. But in the winter, screenwash will stop your washer bottle and jets from freezing up. If this happens, and you try to use the windscreen washer with no liquid coming out, you could blow a fuse that controls something even more important.

Tyre checks are an extremely vital part of winter car maintenance. With treacherous snow or ice on the roads, the right tyre pressure will help with grip. While the legal minimum tread wear limit is 1.6mm, a tyre with less than 3mm can make a huge difference to traction in icy conditions or rain water displacement in extreme wet weather. Some tyre manufacturers also make bespoke winter tyres, something to consider if you live in a rural area.

While it is possible for motorists to do some of these winter checks themselves, for real peace of mind it is best to go to the specialists. Avantgarde Automotive offers Mercedes-Benz drivers a complete winter service. So, what does that involve?

“We will check your lights, your running levels, the condition of your wiper blades, your brakes, tyres and battery condition,” said Steve. “The service really encompasses everything you need checking in your car for the winter, really.”

Steve also advises going to a car valeting firm for a car wash with a proper wax finish. This will help protect your Mercedes’s paintwork from abrasive frozen dirt and salt which is laid by grit trucks during the winter months.

Once your car has had that expert attention, there are a few other measures Steve advises to prepare for winter driving. Even with the best-maintained car, accidents and hold-ups caused by the weather are commoner at this time of year, so it’s worth taking a few precautions.

For example, running your car’s heating system when the car is stationary will use vital battery power, so keep warm clothing in the vehicle. Use your glove-box to store a few essentials such as non-perishable food, a bottle of water and a spare mobile phone, in case you are stuck in a queue or stranded by the weather conditions for a long time. You may even want to take an advanced driving course which covers the skills cold weather driving requires, such as use of the brakes in slippery conditions. These courses are offered by all major driving instruction companies.

With a full winter servicing and a few extra precautions, your Mercedes-Benz will deliver an exceptional motoring experience throughout the colder months. For further information, follow the link

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