With the arrival of winter ever imminent, and experts predicting yet another harsh winter, Automotive Blog have decided to put together some top tips for preparing your car for the approaching cold spell.
Severe weather conditions and low light levels make driving in winter more dangerous. It’s important to make sure nothing impairs your vision.
- Make sure your windscreen is clean. It is important to ensure visibility is at a maximum especially in severe weather conditions. Ensure your windscreen is cleaned with a solution designed for car windows rather than household glass as they may leave streaks.
- Ensure your screen wash is topped up.
- Check your wiper blades, damaged blades will have more difficulty clearing snow and sleet from the screen.
- Give your lights a clean and check all bulbs are in working order.
The increase in usage of lights, heaters and windscreen wipers take their toll on your battery.
- Batteries generally last 5 years. If you notice yours is not holding a charge like it used to its best to get a new one. You wouldn’t want it to give out leaving you stranded in the cold.
- Avoid running car electrics for any longer than necessary, for example turn the heater down once the windscreen has cleared.
Tyre safety is important all year round, but more so when road conditions are cold and slippery.
- It is important to check your tyre pressure around every 2 weeks, although this may seem excessive, the fine of up to £2,500 per tyre under pressure and the safety implications should remind you of the importance of this small easy to perform task.
- A minimum tread depth of 3mm is advised for winter driving. Remember slippery road need more grip. If you can afford it winter tyres are advisable to ensure the safest possible driving conditions in wet and icy conditions, they do not harden at lower temperatures and therefore supply better grip.
- DO NOT reduce tyre pressure in order to increase grip. This DOES NOT work and actually reduces stability.
Antifreeze costs pennies (well a couple of quid) a cracked engine block will cost 100 times that to repair.
- Check your antifreeze is topped up. A 50:650 mix of antifreeze to water is required in winter to prevent freezing.
Finally no matter how much you prepare unforeseen circumstance can always occur. Put together an emergency kit and leave it in the car, in an easy to get to location. The kit should contain:
- A thick warm blanket in case you are stranded for any reason.
- Jump leads in case the car will not start.
- A torch, this will come in useful if the car was to breakdown leaving you with no electrics.
- A Towrope in case the car needs to be towed to safety.
- Spare bulbs and fuses.
- A First aid kit.
- Water repellent spray.