Preparing your Car for Winter

Car in winter snowWhile the dark nights are getting closer, it’s said that Britain could experience one of the coldest Winters in 30 years.

Last year, the ‘Beast from the East’ saw temperatures plunge down to a shivering -14°C, with winds reaching 70mph. Scientists have predicted that the central England temperature for this Winter will be even lower than last year*. With these brutal times approaching, just sparing a few minutes maintenance on your car could see it through the worst of the weather.

Here’s our guide to preparing your Car for Winter.

  1. Get your Car Serviced before Winter

It’s known by every car driver that the cold causes problems for cars but, what isn’t known is that up to half of the problems could have been prevented by a regular servicing. Save yourself the cost and inconvenience and book your car in for a service now. In winter, lots of garages offer discounted or even free ‘winter car checks’ so take advantage of some of these which may be local to you.

  1. Check your Cars Battery

It’s obvious that during winter you use your lights, heater and blower much more frequent. Suffering from almost double use, checking your battery should always be priority. If your car is having trouble when starting, get the battery checked out as soon as possible. Worst case scenario is that your car won’t start because of a flat battery. If this happens, try giving your car a jump start.

  1. Condition of Tyres

Your vehicles tyres are important for both braking and steering so keeping them in good condition is very important. Despite the legal minimum of a 1.6mm depth, we advise that you stick to a minimum of 3mm during winter. This just helps improve the grip of your car on ice and snow.

  1. Top up Engine Coolant

In the colder months, antifreeze will be extremely important for ensuing your engine doesn’t over-heat. Your engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix between antifreeze and water, this is because antifreeze becomes diluted over time.

  1. Give your Windscreen a check

Before winter, give your windscreen a thorough check for any cracks and chips. During winter, water can seep into these cracks, freeze and then cause expansion. Getting anything repaired before this can happen can save lots of money.

  1. Carry a Winter Breakdown Kit

In case of emergency, we advise carrying a breakdown kit in your car during winter. This kit should include some of these essentials if not all:

  • Torch
  • Blanket
  • Shovel
  • Hi-vis vest
  • Food and water
  • De-icer and scraper

Taking extra precaution when driving in bad weather is how you ensure your safety. We strongly advise that you always travel with a fully charged mobile just in case you find yourself in an accident or breakdown.

  1. Comprehensive Cover

Having comprehensive breakdown cover is vital at this time of year. The last thing you want is an accident and then being stranded in the cold. So, check with your policy and have the peace of mind knowing you are covered.

  1. Prepare!

If you know you need to be somewhere at a specific time, plan your journey ahead. Check for any road closures or delays and allow plenty of time for your journey. Being in a rush when the weather is bad increases your chances of being in a road car accident – so be prepared!