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Preparing your Car for Winter

Preparing your car for Winter

The winter months are some of the most taxing for your car. Plummeting temperatures put pressure on the engine and battery. To keep your car in tip top condition and avoid a big repair bill or being left out in the cold, here are our top tips.

preparing your car for winter

1. Check your battery

In the colder winter months, you are likely to be putting extra strain on your car’s battery using the heaters and lights more often, along with other electrical items. This combined with the cold weather means your battery may struggle more than usual to start your car in winter. You can avoid a problem by checking the health of your battery before the bad weather kicks in and replace it if necessary.

2. Screen washer fluid

Make sure you top up your screen wash to avoid your windscreen wipers smearing dirt across your windows making them difficult to see through. Don’t just top up with water though, as this is likely to freeze. Make sure you use a proper washer fluid with antifreeze included to have smear free windows all winter. The salt on the road and colder weather will mean you will need your wipers more during winter so don’t get caught out

preparing your car for winter

3. Engine Coolant/Antifreeze

Your engine’s cooling system should be made up of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. It may well become diluted over time, particularly if you have been topping it up with water the rest of the year. You should make sure your engine coolant isn’t too diluted before winter kicks in, so your engine doesn’t overheat, and you don’t have a big repair bill!To test your antifreeze in your coolant reservoir, you can buy antifreeze testers for around £5

4. Service

If your car is due a service, don’t wait until you are in the middle of winter, try and get it done before the colder weather starts. It’s likely that any potential problems can be picked up before they cost you time and money. Also, take advantage of free winter checks being advertised at local garages or dealerships.

preparing your car for winter

5. Tyres

Having tyres in good condition over winter is key to minimising the risk of skidding and loss of control in icy or snowy conditions. Although the legal minimum tread is 1.6mm, we would recommend having around 3mm of tread depth in winter to give you better grip. If you need new tyres, it might be worth getting winter tyres fitted which offer even better grip.

preparing your car for winter

6. Lights

As the nights draw in, you will be relying on your cars external lights far more, so they need to be working properly. Ask a friend to help you check all the lights around the car are working correctly including fog lights and full beam headlights. It might be worth giving them a clean too to make sure they are bright as possible.

preparing your car for winter

7. Winter car kit

Before you set off on a long journey, make sure you have some emergency items in the car in the event of a breakdown. Some ideas are below:

  • Torch
  • Food and drink
  • Hi vis vest
  • Screenwash
  • Ice Scraper
  • Warm clothes
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • Hazard warning triangle 
  • Shovel
  • Wellies
preparing your car for winter

8. Breakdown Cover

If you already have breakdown cover, make sure it’s comprehensive and remember to take your policy contact number with youIf you don’t have breakdown cover, winter is a good time to consider it, so you’re not left out in the cold.

Top tip!

Use your car mats to wedge under the wheels and get you moving again if you get stuck in the snow

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Posted on 23rd October 2019 at 11:16 AM

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