Cars breakdowns and accidents are far more likely over winter, so it is important to give your vehicle extra attention when the weather gets colder.
Follow our checks and precautions to get your car winter ready.
1. Car service
If your car is due a service anyway, it is sensible to book it in before the winter.
Alternatively, some garages offer free winter car checks so look out for offers.
Tyres affect both braking and steering so are among the most important parts of your vehicle to check.
It is especially important when roads are icy or wet that your vehicle can stop as quickly as possible.
Ensure that tyres are not worn – experts say tread depth should be 3mm during the winter for a good grip.
Also, check tyre pressure. Winter tyres should be inflated to 0.2 bar higher than summer. Do this outside, not in a warm garage.
Car batteries work much harder in the winter months so make sure to check them.
And if your car battery is struggling to start, have it replaced if necessary.
Cars get dirty in the winter, not least from road grit/salt.
Dirty lights are not as bright so it is important to check them, along with rear reflectors and indicators to make sure they are clean and working.
5. Windscreen wipers
Windscreen wipers on an icy car
Check your wipers – replace worn or damaged wiper blades to give you maximum visibility when the weather is bad.
Make sure to turn them off when you park – if they are left on automatic and try to move when frozen to the windscreen or when there is still ice on the screen, they may be damaged.
6. Screen wash
You will use your screen wash a lot more in winter so keep it topped up.
The water jets shouldn’t block as screen wash has a lower freezing temperature than water, but it can happen.
Make sure your car is topped up with antifreeze, which stops the water in the engine’s cooling system from freezing.
You can test how effective it is using an antifreeze tester, which are cheap to buy.
Check the weather forecast before setting off. Allow extra time for winter journeys and plan routes around major roads, which are more likely to be cleared and gritted.
Clear all windows using a scraper and de-icer and wait until the windscreen’s fully demisted before setting off.
9. Be prepared
Keep emergency supplies in your car such as extra warm clothing, boots and blankets along with a torch and shovel.
Make sure you have a mobile phone and a charger, a de-icer and scraper, food and drink.
Keep topped up with fuel just in case your journey takes longer.
When buying a used car, choose a reputable, trusted dealer like Rockpoint in Tamworth, Staffordshire.
Visit our website to see all the latest quality stock or call 01827 283496.
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