driving in winter

It’s no secret that winter can be quite a taxing time for cars (just as it can be for humans, let’s be honest). The cold, rain and ice can take its toll on everything from the engine and electrics to the tyres and battery. Indeed, almost every car in our online vehicle auctions will have undergone some kind of winter maintenance, no matter what state it’s in.

Obviously, your car’s brakes are some of the most critical components often at risk in winter. If you’re a professional mechanic, that’s probably not too much of a worry, as you’ll know exactly what tools and skills you need to keep them in tip top condition. But even if you don’t have professional knowledge, skills or expertise, there are still plenty of things you can do to keep your brakes in decent condition this winter!

Drive exceptionally carefully

Just like so many other parts of your car, the condition of your brakes is often strongly influenced by the way you drive. Aggressive driving and harsh braking can create extreme heat and friction in the brake pads, which can eventually cause them to wear away more quickly. You’ll occasionally need to react quickly with some emergency braking, but take care to keep that sort of hard braking as the exception, not the rule!

Engine braking is something that you’ll want to be relying on a lot instead. Essentially, rather than pressing your foot on the brakes to slow your car, just take your other foot off the accelerator, and allow the car to trundle to a stop – or at least down to a more acceptable speed.

Engine braking is a great way to increase the effective lifespan of your brakes, and to be honest it’s a good driving practice to get into anyway, as it requires you to be constantly judging how much space is in front of you.

Top up your brake fluid

Hydraulics play a big part in keeping your braking system working – which means that it needs plenty of braking fluid to ensure it continues functioning smoothly. That makes it a top priority for you to check that it’s properly topped up! If you run out of brake fluid, your brakes could potentially fail completely. It’s still technically possible for the car to come to a stop if that happens, but that’s not really a roll of the dice you’ll ever want to be making.

On a related note, if you ever spot any signs of leaking brake fluid, take it to a garage immediately. It’s arguably one of the most worrying signs that something could be wrong with your car, so make sure to treat it as the emergency that it is!

Watch out for signs of something wrong

Speaking of leaking brake fluid, your car is a very vocal thing, and most of the time it’ll give you plenty of warning when something isn’t quite right. As far as your brakes are concerned, some of the most common issues make themselves known through squealing or screeching sounds (worn brake pads, for example).

Other times they might be felt rather than heard, such as a spongy brake pedal, vibrations through your foot, or stiff brakes. And of course, it may tell you even more directly through the brake light illuminating on your dashboard. Every single one of them is a sure-fire sign that you need to get it to a garage immediately – or if you’ve got the tools and knowledge, stop driving it ASAP and get the issue sorted. It might be time consuming, inconvenient or expensive – but it's never worth your safety.

And if you ever need any cars to strip down for parts to make the repairs (or you’re just looking for a new second-hand vehicle for your personal use) then you’re in exactly the right place.

Here at RAW2K we’ve got a huge range of salvage cars to choose from in our online car auctions, including many from world-famous brands like Renault, Peugeot and BMW. Our auctions are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis, so there are always bargains to be found. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?