Despite reports that most of Australia will be experiencing a milder, drier winter than in previous years thanks to the El Nino weather pattern, South-west WA is unfortunately an exception. That means that whilst our friends over east and up north are enjoying their crisp winter mornings under a lukewarm sun, in Perth we will be preparing for the standard cold morning.
But you’re not the only one who dreads a drop in temperature, as just like their drivers, cars tend to hate the extreme chill too.
Like us, they may be disgruntled to wake up on a true Perth winter morning, but there are some things you can do to make it easier for your vehicle to spring to life. This is not only important for the health of the engine and all of the car’s features, but also for your own safety – so pay close attention!
Check your car battery
Cold temperatures can be harsh on a car’s battery. Typically, in winter a car’s fluids can be thicker meaning car batteries may have to compensate by generating extra power. You might also be running extra features like warm air-conditioning and wipers. Check your battery with your mechanic and replace if needed.
Replace your windscreen wipers
To that previous point, ensure that your windscreen wipers are in working order, and replace them if they are degraded or inoperable. Check the fluid is topped up so that you can effectively clear your field of vision from any frost. It’s also worthwhile checking the nozzles and pipes are clear. Wipers are a key part of staying safe on slippery winter roads with poor visibility and are cheap to replace.
Warm up your engine
Sluggish engines often mean thick fluids and cold pipes. By starting your engine two minutes before you depart you can warm up your car to ensure it’s in smooth working order for your morning drive. If you vehicle has a winter, wet or all weather driving mode, engage this when driving.
Check your tyre tread
Turn your front wheels full lock to each side and inspect your tyres for sufficient tread. If there are any cracks, flat spots or gashes you should have them replaced before stepping out in winter conditions.
Use your headlights
On those dark mornings you should turn on your headlights for increased visibility. Some cars may have day running lamps, which will keep you permanently illuminated. Make sure you clear your headlight casing and replace any bulbs you need before the season hits its peak.
Driving in early morning winter conditions can be unexpected and cars can be less responsive than warmer months, so always proceed with caution and take your time on the roads.
If you feel underprepared or concerned your vehicle may be unsuitable for cold winter morning conditions in WA this year, book in a time for an inspection at our John Hughes service centre, with over 60 bays and a team of professional experts. It’s not just about surviving those chilly starts; it’s also about keeping you, your passengers and everyone else on the road safe.