As the nights draw longer and the temperature drops down, Autumn is the perfect time to get your car winter ready. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than a mishap in the freeze of winter that could have been entirely avoided by a little preparation. So, before the weather gets too cold, dark and rainy, consider these steps to prepare your car for winter motoring.
1. Get Your Car Serviced and in Shape
Servicing your car in advance for winter makes sure that you are in tip-top shape when those days get a little harder and your car takes more of a beating from the elements. This is especially true if your car is in need of a service. Many problems encountered in your day-to-day drive are related to the winter cold. So be pre-prepared with a service and maintenance check.
Don’t forget the nooks and cranny’s of your car or rely entirely on the workshop. With the possibility of more extreme weather conditions and reduced visibility, don’t overlook your windshield wipers, lights and washers; if your wipers are streaking, consider replacing them. Your battery should also be the main priority when servicing. Batteries need replacing every three to five years and they can really take the winter strain. Used cars are in particular need of regular checks.
2. Check Your Tyres
Tyres are essential components for steering and braking that are often overlooked. You should regularly check your tyre’s pressure and thread depth. The legal requirement is 1.6mm, but it is recommended that you have at least 3mm in the colder months. If you are living in a notoriously snowy Northern county or are expected to be driving in the snow, consider keeping accessories like snow chains or snow socks in your car.
3. Anti-freeze and De-icer
You should top up your engine cooler with a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water for winter motoring. We tend to dilute this solution with mostly water through the summer. It is worth attending to in order to prevent your solution freezing and engine overheating as it gets colder. Consider also preparing a bottle of anti-freeze or de-icer for storage in the car – this can be used to de-ice your windscreen when frozen in the morning along with a scraper (not a CD). Definitely don’t use hot water in this situation, this can shatter your windscreen and make your used car a useless car.
4. Prepare and Store an Emergency Kit
A basic emergency kit should consist of a torch with spare batteries or a wind-up torch, a warm coat or jacket and blanket, hi-visibility vest, wellies, a warning triangle, first-aid kit and jump-start cables. Additionally, if you are driving long distances and expect heavier snow, prepare long-life food, water and carry a shovel.
5. Check Your Coverage
Comprehensive breakdown coverage is a necessity in all situations, but it is more markedly needed in bad conditions. Make sure you are covered and up-to-date as this will put your mind at rest. Remember to keep the number of your recovery company with you in your car at all times, both in writing and on your mobile.