In case you hadn’t noticed, winter is creeping up on us – we’ve already woken up to a few frosty mornings with the dreaded car windscreen frozen over.
It’s important to take these vital steps to ensure that your car is ready for winter or it could actually end up costing you down the line in repairs if you don’t. In the words of the good old cub scouts. Always be prepared…!
1. Park your vehicle in your garage (if you have one) or undercover
This will help your car, especially the outside of the car and its components so they’re not being affected by low temperatures. If you don’t have a garage or anywhere undercover then invest in a low cost windshield cover. This will help protect your windscreen and is also a great solution in the morning if you’re in a rush so you don’t have to get out the anti freeze and ice scraper.
2. Check the level of the antifreeze liquid
Anti freeze, as it’s name suggests, stops the water in the engines cooling system from freezing.
If there are any problems with the liquid antifreeze or if your car does not have the sufficient quantity then it can cause all sorts of issues for your car. Most breakdowns in the UK during the winter months are caused due to people forgetting to put anti freeze in their cars. It is vital.
3. Check the battery of the car
Cold and damp weather is a battery killer. There’s little worse than the mechanical groan when you turn the key caused by a dying car battery. If your battery is struggling to start your car, the chances are it’s on its way out.
You can test the battery yourself if you have the correct equipment, but if your car is a bit older and you are unsure, then speak to a specialist.
4. Get some winter tyres
Check the weather forecast (yes, check it, even if it is obvious) and be prepared for anything on the road. If you drive frequently in winter then consider buying a set of winter tyres and depending on the conditions or where you leave, maybe even invest in some tyre chains.
Even if you don’t want the extra cost of winter tyres, checking the tread depth of your existing tyres is important. The legal limit is 1.6mm, but having more than this can dramatically improve steering and braking. Also check your tyre pressures regularly.
5. Check the lights
Sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how mnay cars drive around without lights and it’s vital in the cold, dark winter months.
Check and clean your lights regularly. The salt and dirt can quickly build-up, reducing visibility at night as well as during periods of snow, fog and rain. Carry extra bulbs in case of a failure – this will also save you getting pulled over and being fined by the police too.
6. Change the wind screen wash
With the roads being wet and dirty (especially when snow starts to melt and we are left we sludge), the windscreen wipers are needed a lot. If you are on the motorway and desperately need to clean the windscreen then you will find yourself in a pickle if you didn’t fill up the wiper wash.
Screen wash also has a lower freezing temperature than water alone, meaning you shouldn’t end up with frozen washer jets.
7. Be cautious
Winter is the most dangerous time of the year to drive and double the accidents are caused. Make sure you are careful and only drive if it’s an absolute necessity.
Please take note of the tips above, a few simple winter checks can ensure both you and your car are prepared for what’s to come.