MG Tech – Winter Checks

If you are one of those hardy souls who uses their classic in the winter then Roger Taylor offers some tips to make sure your vehicle is ready to face the rigours of a British winter.

Firstly Roger advises checking out the battery and the correct operation of the electrical system (lights, indicators, horn etc) as this will be under pressure from cold starts and the excessive use of aspects such as lights and heaters.

On classic MGBs the battery or batteries are located in vulnerable positions where they can be exposed to the elements. Check the charge level in the battery and on non-sealed batteries the amount of the acid inside to make sure it is at the correct level.

While doing this, examine the battery terminals for signs of corrosion and clean where necessary before coating with grease or using a proprietary brand of terminal protector.

Next give the water system a through examination including the condition of hoses to make sure they aren’t perishing and that they are securely fixed. Brown stains could be a sign of a leak or insecure connection.

Also test the operation of the windscreen washers and wipers. If the spray nozzle is blocked (as they often are with dirt or an accumulation of polish) these can be cleaned using a needle or a special device purpose designed for the job.

Check that there is sufficient washer fluid and that it is clean – bottles and bags often accumulate a thick sludge of old fluid over time which needs to be cleaned out and replaced with dedicated washer fluid.

The concentration of anti-freeze in the cooling system can be checked using a hydrometer – if the concentration is low (it should be about 25 per cent) this should be topped up. If you don’t have a hydrometer your local garage can check this for you.

As a tip, always carry a bottle of ready-mixed anti-freeze solution with you in case you need to top-up the system.

As you are in the region of the radiator take a few minutes to check the tension on the fan belt There should be some movement,  between a quarter and half an inch, any more than this and the belt could be deteriorating and will need replacing.

Before setting off check the condition, tread depth and air pressure in tyres. Having plenty of grip at the right pressure is especially important during the winter when roads can be wet and slippery.

Finally, if you are in any doubt get your car checked over by an MG expert, such as Roger, who can carry out a dedicated Winter Service.

Winter Check 1

Above – Check your fanbelt for tightness



Above – Check the conditon of your battteries


Winter Check 2

Above – Check the antifreeze level in your radiator