During the cold winter months certain car parts are forced to work particularly hard to help you to see, to give you the traction you need, to keep you warm and to improve fuel efficiency. As spring approaches it might be time to either change these parts or to perform some routine car maintenance to prolong their lifespan.
In this guide we will go over a few relatively quick and easy checks, changes and repairs that you can do at home with little more than a few spanners, screwdrivers and know-how. All of these adjustments, repairs and additions will make a difference to the overall performance of your car, giving it something of a ‘spring clean’ as we go into the summer.
There are certain car parts that are forced to work far harder in the winter than at any other time of year and your wiper blades certainly fit into this category. Even when it isn’t raining or snowing you might be using your windscreen washer fluid to clean the glass and to improve your vision.
Over time your wiper blades will start to wear, especially if they come into contact with loose materials thrown up off the road or any leaves or twigs that might fall from the trees while you’re parked. It’s easy to tell when your wiper blades might need changing as they can leave smears on the glass, and as you should never compromise your vision on the road it might be worth changing your blades now we’re (hopefully) through the worst of the winter weather.
There is a wide range of different wiper blades available from standard blades to wiper blades with spoilers. You will be able to find out the best blades for your car by reading your owner’s manual, by using our parts checker or speaking with one of our experts who will be happy to advise you.
It’s easy to forget engine parts when it comes to car maintenance, mostly because certain components take priority in terms of repair work. The engine is such a large and crucial part that the likes of the timing belt, spark plugs and gaskets are treated as priorities.
However, it’s important that you don’t completely overlook the importance of the smaller engine parts like the pollen filter that, while not playing such a crucial role as the spark plugs and gaskets, still perform a vital task. Your car’s pollen filter does as the name suggests, keeping pollen and other airborne materials out of the engine system so that they can’t get into the fuel and oil supply and cause clogs and damage further down the line.
It is recommended that you change your pollen filters after around 10,000 to 15,000-miles, and doing so can actually prolong the life of other car parts such as the air conditioning system and other cooling and heating parts.
With the darker mornings and darker evenings you find yourself using your headlight bulbs much more often in the winter than any other time of year. During the summer when the days are longer you might only switch them on if you’re driving late at night, but during the winter it seems like they’re never switched off!
The poor weather conditions don’t help matters either, as many drivers switch on their headlight bulbs not only to aid their own vision, but to make sure that other road users and pedestrians can see them coming along the road through the wind, rain and spray.
This means that your headlight bulbs are much more likely to wear out during the winter than at any other time of year, and if you’ve managed to get through the winter with your bulbs intact it may be worth checking on their condition and even changing them now so you’re set for another 12 months or so. We have a range of different standard headlight bulbs in stock as well as upgrade headlight bulbs that will require a bit of expertise or assistance to fit, but we can give you advice on these particular parts if you need any help.
If you choose not to change your headlights then giving the headlight covers a clean inside and out will make sure that the bulbs have the maximum effect in guiding you on your journey and ensuring that you’re visible to others.
Brake pads and discs
Every time you press your brake pedal your brake pads and discs are forced to work hard to slow the vehicle down or to bring it to a complete stop. They work through friction caused when the driver presses on the brake pedal inside the car, which eventually squeezes the brake caliper onto the brake pads. The thermal energy created during this process causes the pads and brake discs to join together, and this stops the vehicle.
During the winter you might spend more time using your brakes than in the summer because of poor weather and subsequent grip issues. Each time you brake the brake pads and discs wear down ever so slightly which affects their performance. As we enter spring it’s definitely worth checking on the condition of your brake parts along with the mileage since they were last changed, which should be documented in your service history.
The lifespan of your brake pads and discs will vary according to factors such as the parts on your car as well as your driving style; but you should always look to change your brake pads after between 30,000 and 70,000 miles depending on the manufacturer, while your brake discs should be changed after between 25,000 and 60,000-miles.
Finally, a lot of people struggle when it comes to parking their car. Sometimes it can be because of a lack of confidence in their ability to park when other drivers and pedestrians are watching, in other cases it’s just because they’re not used to parking in a certain way – such as parallel parking – or it could be because of poor visibility from inside the car caused by a small rear window.
Whatever the issue might be, parking sensors have proven to be one of the most popular investments in recent years. These clever pieces of in-car tech are usually fitted by experts and provide the driver with audible, and even visual, guides when they back into a parking space.
Parking sensors let off an increasingly high-pitched noise as a hazard (such as another parked car or a lamp post) gets closer, with noises coming from each side of the car so that the driver can adjust their line accordingly.
This has made parking much less stressful for thousands of drivers, and parking sensors are suitable for use in all makes and models. Again, our experts can provide any advice you might need if you’re interested in a sensor for your car.
For more car maintenance advice and tips for repairing any damage to your vehicle, continue to check the Euro Car Parts blog. If you would like to place an order then we can deliver your car parts to you anywhere in the UK, or you can click and collect from more than 200 branches nationwide.