Cold weather tip that could swerve an expensive repair bill - Select Car Leasing
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Cold weather tip that could swerve an expensive repair bill

Temperatures are plummeting this week - and if your car heater isn't keeping you warm, there's a simple fix that could also save you from an enormous repair bill. 

A so-called 'Beast from the East' has blown into Britain bringing it with a blanket of ice and snow. 

Drivers will be relying heavily on their cars' heating system to de-mist windows and make cabins toasty.

But if you’re struggling to get warm air from the vents, it might signal a bigger problem - namely low engine coolant, which you’ll need to top-up as quickly as you can.

Daren Jasper, Head of Commercial Vehicles at Select Van Leasing, is urging all drivers to be aware of the tell-tale warning sign that something is wrong.

He reveals: 

“The coolant in your vehicle doesn’t just work to keep the engine from overheating, it’s also the source of warmth that supports the cabin’s interior heating system.
“If you’re getting lukewarm, or even cold, air through the vents, even when the temperature level is set to the max, then it could be a sure-fire sign that your coolant levels need checking.
“If the coolant level is low, the hot fluid can’t make it to the heater core - which acts like a mini radiator - so no hot air is ultimately pushed through the system.
“A lack of warm air could also signal a problem with the heater core itself, but it’s good to check your coolant levels first and foremost.”

You’ll find the engine coolant reservoir underneath your car’s bonnet, and you can top it up easily using either a pre-mixed bottle of antifreeze, or a mixture of water and antifreeze.

You can also use clean tap water in an emergency - though you’ll have to add proper antifreeze to the system as soon as you can.

Select Van Leasing’s Daren Jasper adds: 

“So, the first thing to check when you notice a fault with the heating is the vehicle’s coolant level. Have a look at the plastic reservoir underneath the bonnet and check your vehicle’s handbook to see at what level the coolant should be.
“You should check your coolant levels when the engine is cold. And, ideally, you should be checking the levels at least every couple of weeks to protect your car’s long-term health.
“Low coolant level may be caused by a leak in the hoses, radiator or radiator cap. Or, even worse, it may also be a sign of a blown head gasket, which is a pricey repair indeed.
“It’s always best to spot any issues early to make sure they don’t lead to much more expensive problems further down the line.
“If your coolant gets extremely low, you could end up with an engine that seizes entirely. And a replacement engine for even a modest car, like a ten year old Ford Fiesta, would cost upwards of £2,000.”

Having a faulty heater could also see you falling foul of the law.

The Highway Code states drivers should make sure they clear all snow and ice from their windows before setting off, otherwise they could be hit with a £1,000-plus fine and three points on their licence if caught.

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David Hughes

Friday, 17/05/2024