How to Prepare your Car for Winter
Winter is here, and we all know the difficulties that come with driving during winter months; frozen windows, snow on the windscreen, freezing steering wheel and foggy weather. It's not just frustrating and time-consuming to fix, it can also be dangerous when traveling in these conditions. We have put together 8 steps you can follow to prepare your car for winter.
1: Get your car serviced
If your car is due a service within the next 3 months, consider doing it before winter really sets in. The winter weather can cause problems for cars but servicing your car before the winter can prevent many problems that may occur otherwise. Some garages will offer a discounted, sometimes even free winter service, so take advantage of this.
2: Top up the engine coolant with antifreeze
Engine coolant is supposed to be a 50% mix of water and antifreeze. It is common that people tend to top up the water over the course of the year, meaning in cold temperatures the antifreeze gets over diluted and freezes. If you don’t top up the antifreeze, you could end up with a large repair bill due to the engine overheating.
3: Clean your lights
Its important in the winter that lights, indicators and rear reflectors are clean and in working order. For example, in foggy weather, if your fog/ full beam lights are not working it can be dangerous as other drivers may not see you. Clean all lights and if needed, get them fixed so they are in full working order.
4: Check the battery
Checking the battery should be one of the first things you do. The winter weather and cold temperatures mean you increase the use of lights and the heater, which puts extra strain on the battery. Your battery should last around five years but if you’re having trouble getting your car to start it’s best to get your battery checked.
5: Check the condition of your tyres
The car tyres are especially important in the winter as steering and braking in snow and icy conditions can be of difficulty and dangerous if not done carefully. Check the tyres for pressure and tread depth. Compared to the legal limit of 1.6 mm in normal weather conditions, it is recommended there should be a minimum of 3mm depth during the winter to ensure a better grip.
6: Wash your windscreen/wipers/windows
Clean your windscreen and windows from both inside and out. Make sure to top up your screen washer fluid as well. Its important your windscreen and windows are clear so that you have the best vision possible. In the winter it is easier for your windscreen/windows to get dirty, so keeping the screen washer fluid topped up is important to ensure they are clean at all times.
7: Carry a winter breakdown kit in the boot
Carrying a winter breakdown kit will ensure you are not stuck in the freezing cold with anything to keep you warm and safe if you should breakdown. The kit should include a shovel, blanket, luminous vest, screen wash, food and drink, de-icer, spare coat, a charger for your mobile phone and a torch. These kits are available on many websites and can be bought at a good price at places such as www.amazon.co.uk.
8: Use a foil windscreen cover
To avoid your screen freezing up or potentially getting covered in snow, purchase a windscreen cover so that you can keep your screen clean and protected during winter. Windscreen covers can be used all year round, including summer, to protect your car from getting too hot.
We hope this article has helped and you now feel confident in preparing your car for winter.