Winter is a time of year that many people dread. The cold weather, snow, and ice can make driving difficult and hazardous. To help you be safe on the road this winter, we have put together 10 steps to prepare your car. These tips will help keep you warm and safe while remaining stylish with ease.
1. Check Your Coolant, Oil and Windscreen Washers
This is one of the most important steps to prepare your car for winter! Ensure that you have enough coolant in order to avoid any cold-weather breakdowns.
OIL is another important thing to check - it must be at the correct level. If you see any leaks under your car, don't hesitate to bring your vehicle to an expert
for a thorough inspection and repair!
Windscreen washer fluid is essential in winter as well. Ensure that this isn't running low so your windscreen doesn't ice over and limit your visibility on the road!
The best way to ensure that you have enough coolant, oil, and windscreen washer fluid is by getting an expert inspection before winter (most garages offer a free winter car check). This will give you peace of mind while driving in these harsh conditions.
2. Check Your Battery
Make sure your battery is up to par and in good shape. If it is older than three years, consider getting a new one. You should also check the cables for any wear or corrosion that could slow down the flow of electricity when starting your car on cold winter mornings.
3. Get Your Car Serviced
Make sure your car is in good working order by getting it serviced. This ensures that you will be safe on the road and ready to handle any happenings that come with winter driving!
4. Wiper Blades
Be sure to change over wiper blades for winter as well. You will need larger ones that are able to handle ice and snowfall without becoming stuck or causing damage.
5. Tyre Pressure
Check your tyres air pressure regularly, especially if they have been sitting idle throughout the summer months. A good rule of thumb is you want them at least one PSI higher than the recommended amount for your car when they are cold.
If your unsure how to check tyre pressures the RAC have a great how to.
6. Tyre Tread
Check your tyre tread, too! If it is worn down and not deep enough to handle snow and ice on winter roads you will want to get new ones if they are nearing 2mm tread depth.
Make sure that your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals are all functioning properly. Most people don't realize how important it is to make sure these things work, but you should pay attention because they can save lives! You never know when a deer will dart across the road or an animal may wander into traffic unexpectedly.
8. Carry a winter car breakdown kit
This should include: A small shovel and scraper to clear snow from the windows, tailpipe, etc.
Jumper cables in case your battery dies or another vehicle doesn't have enough power - bring along an additional charged battery if possible just in case you need it (if someone has a dead battery, you can also use your car to give them a jump)
A bag of sand in case you get stuck - this will allow the tires some grip on packed snow and ice.
An extra blanket in case it's cold outside (and if there are passengers riding with you). A bit of food and water to keep your body functioning - don't forget the snacks for kids as well. Any medication that you need, such as inhalers or EpiPens A torch (with extra batteries) if it becomes dark outside, A first-aid kit,
Another tool like a wrench (and knowledge of how to use it) if you have a flat tyre and need to change it yourself.
A winter camping stove that will allow you to make hot drinks or cook food when there's no other heat source available - this is something not everyone might consider, but in certain parts of the country, they can be incredibly useful during an emergency situation.
9. Breakdown Cover
It's never nice to be stranded by the side of the road with a broken-down car. Make sure you're covered with breakdown cover in case something goes wrong for your own peace of mind. You should also look at getting roadside assistance as many companies offer this service free to their customers, so it won't cost anything extra.
10. Keep your distance in winter driving
Driving in winter conditions can be very dangerous so it's important to remain cautious on the roads. When driving, keep a safe distance between you and other cars. If there is an emergency stop ahead, leave enough space behind the car in front of you so that you are able to brake safely if needed.