Fleet maintenance checklist for the winter months

With the colder weather around the corner, there are several tasks fleet managers should have on their radar. Making sure that these tasks are completed before winter arrives in full force can help minimise fleet maintenance problems over the coming season. 

1. Batteries 

As fleet managers are well aware, car batteries can die a lot quicker in cold temperatures. The cold air pulls voltage from the battery and can make it a lot harder for fleet drivers to start the cars. To avoid the unnecessary delays caused by dead or strained batteries, have them checked and replaced if needed. Where possible, keep fleet cars sheltered at night in the winter months. 

2. Tyres

Tyre pressure depletes significantly in the cold. Most tyres lose 1 psi every time the temperature drops by about -12 Celsius. While it doesn't get that cold in most parts of Australia, the overall colder climate in winter takes it toll on tyres and so pressure should be monitored carefully. 

3. Car fluids 

These can thicken a lot in winter, making it harder for them to flow quickly around the car and perform at optimum levels. Regularly checking and refilling the oil, transmission, power steering, antifreeze and brake fluids is a good plan. 

4. Spark plugs

Winter weather can reduce the reliability of spark plugs and make it harder for them to start. Moreover, a bad ignition component or clogged filters can also be problematic. Having these serviced before the brunt of winter hits would be beneficial. 

5. Exhaust system

Have all fleet cars tested for carbon monoxide leaks from the exhaust system, as any leaks can be particularly dangerous with the windows always closed in winter. Under Australian Law, workplace health and safety extends to vehicles and hence fleet drivers require protection under this legislation. 

6. Easy fixes 

Since windshields can get a lot foggier in the winter, a simple fix is to roll down the windows and let in some air. But if drivers want quicker results, a good tip is to keep a whiteboard eraser in the dashboard. This makes cleaning the windshield neat and tidy, and presents a much more professional look for the fleet as a whole.