Is Your Car Winter Ready?

With the nights drawing in, and the rain and colder weather making a comeback, it is essential to make sure your car is ready for Winter, especially if you regularly use it.

With cold and frosty conditions, cars can really struggle. We have put together a quick pick of top tips to help you with a hassle free Winter…

Battery

During the winter months, car batteries are put under more strain than ever. With using lights, wipers and the heater, we consume a lot a more power than during the summer months. Coupled with sub-zero temperatures overnight, it really is heavy going. It’s a good idea to get your battery checked – no one wants a flat battery on a cold, dark day! If your car is not in use every day, use a trickle charger to help keep it topped up. Also don’t switch on lights, wipers and the heating until the engine is running.

Antifreeze

carAntifreeze stops water in your engines cooling system from freezing, and as such it should be flushed through and replaced every couple of years. Don’t forget you need a 50/50 water/antifreeze ratio for the Winter months.

Windscreen and wipers

Wiper blades should re replaced regularly to ensure they actually clear your windscreen. Also make sure your washer fluid is topped up. Again you need house a 50/50 mix to keep windscreens clear from the extra grime, and also to stop it freezing.

Before you set off, manually remove any ice, leaves, dirt or snow from your windscreen and windows. As tempting as it is, and especially if you are in a hurry, don’t use boiling water, as this can crack your glass.

Tyres

Whilst it is not a legal requirement for drivers over here to use specific winter tyres, they are worth considering. They have a high silica content which stops them from getting so hard when it gets colder, thus giving you better grip on the road.

Regardless of whether you have opted for winter tyres or standard, you still need to check them once a week for damage and to make sure the tread is legal. Whilst the minimum requirement is 2mm, The AA recommends a minimum of 3mm. Also make sure that they are the correct tyre pressure. Having them too high or low reduces their grip on the road and also your handling conditions, so it pays to be vigilant.

Whilst we would all prefer to stay wrapped up indoors when it is horrible weather outside, sometimes we are unable to. If you are not able to postpone your trip, always check your lights, tyres and wiper blades before you set off. Let someone know where you’re going and your arrival time, and make sure that your mobile phone has enough charge for the duration of your journey. It is also wise to keep an emergency kit in the boot, comprising of warm clothes, a torch, food and water, a shovel, de-icer, a warning triangle and hi vis, just incase you do run into any trouble.