Amongst other things, the winter period can make driving your Mercedes Benz a lot more difficult as the roads become slippery with ice and some journeys can become more treacherous than others. The colder climate can have a profound effect on the inner workings of your vehicle, so it’s worth planning ahead to make sure your car is in full working order and is ready to battle even the most extreme elements.
So that you can carry on using your car for short journeys – commuting or just for pleasure – we’ve rounded up the top ten tips for keeping your Mercedes Benz maintained during winter and even colder periods throughout the year
Unfortunately, the onset of winter weather can drastically reduce the functional capabilities of your car’s battery. More specifically, the cold temperatures actually hinder the chemical reaction taking place in your combustion engine and this can make it more difficult for the engine to start.
Whilst this effect is unavoidable, it is always best to check that your battery is fully functioning prior to the weather getting colder. Try starting it as usual – if your engine struggles to turn over, then it might be best to check the voltage with a multimeter (where it should be no lower than 12.6 volts). Alternatively, get a mechanic to check it over and repair if necessary.
Designed to remove heat from the engine, your car’s coolant system needs to be in full working order otherwise you run the risk of overheating. During freezing temperatures it isn’t uncommon for the water inside the coolant system to freeze, rendering it useless.
To combat this, it’s worth upping the amount of antifreeze in your car’s coolant system to the point where it is much more resilient to freezing temperatures. An ideal ratio is 70% antifreeze to 30% water.
When the roads start getting icy the last thing you need is for your tyres to lose grip as well. With older, more worn tyres you may find that your traction is significantly reduced, which in turn can easily lead to an accident during winter weather. Check the tread for wear and any damage that could be affecting your drive.
The 20 pence test will allow you to test if your tyres are still road-legal – simply fit a 20p coin in between the grooves. If you can’t see the outer rim of the coin your tyres are still fit and safe to drive on.
Whilst you’re checking the tread, you may as well go ahead and check the pressure too to make sure you aren’t using under-inflated or over-inflated tyres. You can find out your ideal pressures for your class of Mercedes Benz in the owner’s manual or even on a sticker near the inside of your car doors. Simply use a pressure gauge or foot pump to find out the pressure and adjust accordingly.
Along with colder conditions, UK drivers have to cope with reduced hours of daylight during winter, meaning that fully-functional lights are essential. Before the colder conditions take hold, it’s worth testing both your front and back lights, along with brake lights and indicators.
If any of the above aren’t working, you will need to replace the bulbs or the entire lights as soon as you can. Have a look at our range of replacement lights here or get in touch with Dronsfields mechanics for further advice.
Visibility can often be reduced during particularly snowy or stormy weather, so it’s always worth double checking that your windscreen is clean and that your windscreen wipers are fully-functional.
In addition, open up the bonnet and see if the screenwash is at an acceptable level – if it’s not, top it up. In general it’s worth making sure you have a higher concentration of screenwash to water during winter times, although there are also screenwash varieties that contain antifreeze if required.
Another important element of your vehicle that becomes extra important during colder conditions are your brakes. The threat of black ice and slippery surfaces mean that your brakes need to be in good condition in case you lose control of the vehicle.
Generally it’s worth driving at much slower speeds in affected areas, but faulty brakes can make it even more dangerous to drive at this time of year too. If you encounter any issues it’s worth getting your Mercedes Benz checked in for a service as soon as you can.
It’s always worth checking your oil at least once a month to see if it needs topping up, though in winter this is even more important. If you know that a cold spell is on it’s way, check the oil level and top up accordingly. It is also possible to get synthetic oil that will work best during winter periods.
During a cold spell it isn’t uncommon to wake up to a car that’s frozen stiff and needs thawing. De-icer is the most reliable method for defrosting a car windscreen, but you may also need a scraper to get rid of thicker ice that has formed.
For exceptional circumstances, a shovel might also be necessary to dig your car out of a thick snow drift, though this may only be required in rural areas more susceptible to thick snowfall. You might also want to think about packing some jumper cables or even a battery charger if you feel it might be necessary.
Lastly, if you do find yourself broken down during cold conditions and are completely stuck, then you will need to have a means of communication to get in touch with your breakdown service. For this to happen, at the very least you need to have a fully charged mobile phone (even if your car battery is flat) so make sure you purchase a portable phone charger just in case.
If you would like to discuss winterising your Mercedes Benz with the experts, get in touch with Dronsfields today. We can help with repairs, servicing and stock a whole range of parts that will come in handy when preparing your vehicle for colder conditions.