When thinking of an Australian winter, extreme conditions don’t usually come to mind, I guess that’s a perk of living in a sub-tropical climate – this does however come with an element of unpredictability.
With the heat and humidity dropping, Winter can, and often is, a time of extremes in Australia’s most southern regions bringing cold snaps and unforeseen weather. What does this mean for you? It pays to be prepared, and that’s where Sparesbox steps in this winter!
WINTER TOP TIPS: MAINTENANCE
When you press your brake pedal, what you don’t see is the hugely complicated system working in the background. The applying of the brake pedal pushes brake fluid to engage systems that force the brake pad onto the brake disc, of course causing friction and bringing your car to a stop. The brake pads are installed in the brake caliper which is a vital part of the car that applies and releases the pads from the rotor.
A perfectly set up braking system is one of the most crucial parts of winter driving for you, your family and your car. With the potential for cold and under-performing tyres, wet or damp roads and even potentially icy conditions, having good brakes is vital to confidently put your foot on the brake and know that you’ll come to a stop or at least slow down when you need to.
Read more on Brakes:
We Answer Your Most Commonly Asked Brake Pad Questions HERE
Disc Brakes Australia: Quality You Can Count On HERE
How do I stop my Brakes from Squealing? HERE
With hundreds of oil varieties available on the market, it’s often hard to know the differences and which will be best for your vehicle and its specific application. The ‘Sparesbox Fitment Intelligence’ has you covered when choosing the right oil for your car, but what if you live in extremely cold climates? Should you change your oil to a thinner grade, should you not? That is the question!
The number in front of the “W” when speaking about oil identifies the viscosity of the oil at cold/start up temperature. This is generally tested at -10 to -35°C depending on the grade. The lower the first number, for example 5w30, the faster the oil flows when the engine is cold. The second number represents the oil’s thickness at operating temperature, 100°C. All oils thin out as they get hotter. What does this mean exactly? Well, the higher the second number, the less the oil will thin out as it heats up.
There are arguments in colder climates that changing to a ‘thinner grade’ oil will aid in circulating fluids in the colder temperatures. Realistically however, it is a rare occurrence our Australian winters get cold enough to warrant that – so sticking with your manufacturers recommended oil grade is the best thing to do!
Read More On Oil, Fluids & Additives:
Engine Oil: Clearing Up All You Need to Know HERE
Beginner’s Guide: Checking Your Oil HERE
The Importance of Engine Oil HERE
Your car, and just about every vehicle on the road require a mass of filters and filtration systems to keep the fluids flowing, the engine performing and the reliability at its prime. Removing potentially costly contaminants from the running systems of your vehicle and meaning you can go further and harder, for longer. It’s because of this, that it’s important to learn just how these work, and how they’ll benefit you this winter prep season.
Your engine must breathe much cleaner air than you do. As you could imagine, travelling at speed along dusty, dirty roads during your next winter road trip means that the air entering your engine bay is full of a massive number of contaminants, risking catastrophic engine damage. Air filters are the first point of contact for any air that’s about to be mixed with your fuel before it’s combusted – in turn, are extremely important.
Similarly, fuel and oil filters are designed to keep the lubricating and combustion fluids contaminant free and without them, your engine longevity would be nil to none! As your oil cycles through the engine and picks this up, it’s cleaned by the oil filter before going through your engine again. This is what gives your engine oil the cleaning power and long-life usability that’s so vital for your engine. Additionally, it isn’t uncommon for dirt and particles to be picked up in fuel when filling from a variety of fuel stations – of course in this situation, a fuel filter pays for itself!
Read More On Filters:
What do the different Filters actually do? HERE
DIY: How to Change your Oil Filter HERE
5 Big Myths About Filters HERE
Whether you’re cruising the highway on your next winter trip, or embarking on a gruelling cross-country drive, well maintained windscreen wipers are vital. Basically, if they’re worn down, they’re putting you at risk.
Extreme rain fall, sleet, snow and other winter weather elements can all cause reduced vision. Now, there is a handful of ways to keep on top of this, the primary being maintaining and/or replacing your wiper blades each season.
So just how do you identify when your wipers are on their way out? Well! Squeaking or chattering sounds, skipping across the windscreen, streaking and smearing on the glass and general reduced vision when the wipers are in action!
Read More On Wiper Blades:
Bosch Wiper Blade – How To Maximise Their Life HERE
Fix It Season – Get Your Car Road Trip Ready HERE
Replacing Windscreen Wiper Blades HERE
WINTER TOP TIPS: CAR CARE & ACCESSORIES
The physical condition and appearance of your car plays a vital role in your overall driving enjoyment. To keep your car in peak condition, car care and all the associated accessories should be your first point of call.
Your prized possession’s paint can be easily affected by road grime, debris and just about all wintery conditions the Australian climate can throw at you. To ensure that your vehicle does not pick up scratches or tiny dings, you may want to schedule routine car care and detailing days.
Often the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning, detailing your car, degreasing filthy components, applying wax and sealants and giving your car a polish is the ultimate treat for these winter months as it deals with the harsh road conditions.
Read More On Car Care & Accessories:
How to quickly remove Tree Sap from Your Car Paintwork HERE
Autoglym – Premium British Car Care is here HERE
No matter what the occasion, whether you’re embarking on a long winter road trip, a visit to your holiday house in the snow or just need to increase vehicle storage the best way to achieve this is with Sparesbox’s range of roof racks and storage boxes.
From fishing rods, luggage, kayaks, eskys, bikes or any other travel gear you can think of, a roof rack or storage box will open up a huge number of storage possibilities. Break free from the confines of your vehicle’s conventional interior storage with a roof rack or roof bag.
More than just an addition to storage space though, a roof rack, holders or storage box can be modified and personalised to suit just about any need you can imagine. With the mass of accessories that brands like Prorack and Hayman Reese offer, there is a specific and individual storage solution for you.
Individualising the interior of your vehicle is a guaranteed way of adding flare and often functionality to your car. Whether you’re looking to cover up damage, protect from the elements, help in keeping the interior clean or replacing worn interior components, Sparesbox has what you need to get on top of it this winter.
So you’ve spent all of summer parading your ride around the neighbourhood and to all your mates so why would you want to hide your car away? During the winter months, generally your project car doesn’t get used or driven as often as it does during the winter months due to the colder and more hazardous conditions, heavy rainfall and even an increase in road grime. The best way to protect your investment from all this is of course, a good fitting car cover.
Alright, what are the specific benefits of a car cover and why do we use them on our cars here at Sparesbox HQ? Well! They’re ideal for shielding them from man-made hazards, preventing scratches and minor dents from falling debris, it puts an extra and often very valuable layer of defence between your cars paint and the outside world and finally it offers excellent theft deterrence. If a thief can’t see what the car is and will take longer to get into, chances are they’ll look past your car as a target. Better yet, if you add a lock and cable to your car cover, you will not only keep your cover secure, but your vehicle becomes even harder to steal.
WINTER TOP TIPS: DASH CAMS, GPS & JUMP STARTERS
Dash cams are Australia’s number one faster growing auto tech product and it’s easy to see why. Recording road trips, track days, drift events or just looking to keep your commute safe and recorded, a dash cam is your ideal solution.
If you find yourself frequenting in the shaking of fists at incompetent drivers, swearing at pedestrians, and cursing P-platers then a dash cam is almost certainly the accessory for you. With an ever increasing number of road users on Australian streets and the seemingly ever decreasing skill level of some drivers, its important you protect yourself and your car with a dash camera.
With a GPS guidance system fitted to your vehicle, it can easily, safely and quickly guide you and your passengers to your destination using a digital, preloaded map and pre-recorded voice overs.
Relying on your phone isn’t ideal as the ever tightening laws now forbid you even touching a phone, even when it is in an approved holder whereas you can interact with a GPS system. So why risk it? With so many advanced GPS guidance systems on the market, you’d be silly to consider anything else to guide you from A to B.
Now, after many years of development, the humble GPS has evolved again to now include lane departure assist and other driver aid features that are often only included on high end European vehicles.
A portable jump starter is about the most useful item you could keep in your car. Essentially they’re a portable rechargeable battery that can get your car started in the event of a flat battery. As with most things, the technology that has gone into jump starters over the years is always changing and developing. What does that mean? Well, what use to be ‘bigger is better’ is now not the case.
Some things to remember when looking for a jump starter is choosing one appropriate for your sized engine as often, if you have a larger capacity engine you’ll need a more powerful starter. Consider the sizing of the starter and where you’ll be storing it within your car or garage. And most importantly, make sure it has long battery life so when the time comes you need it, it will be ready to go.
No matter what this winter season throws at you and your car, with our top tips and top range, Sparesbox will get you and your prize possession through unscathed.