It’s sad but true: getting ready for winter involves more than just ordering a turkey and bleeding the radiators. Vehicle owners are all too aware that December to February is the toughest season to keep both new and used cars happy, so it makes good sense to start preparing for this time of year as soon as possible.
Here are some top tips to keep your vehicle in good health in the harshest of seasons.
Just as we wrap up in a coat and gloves before going out in freezing weather, you need to check your vehicles antifreeze level, but it’s not the only thing to think about. Check the tread on all your tyres to ensure you’ve got enough grip for slippery surfaces, it’s a legal requirement too.
Consider upgrading to winter tyres if you do a lot of driving, or if you live in an area where roads aren’t well gritted at this time of year. Screen wash levels should always be kept topped up, and your windscreen wipers need to be in good working order.
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Car batteries can also give up the ghost in cold weather, so check your battery’s charge level and consider buying a new one if it’s on the way out.
Finally, make sure your vehicle lights are kept clean and shining bright; darker mornings, afternoons and bad weather visibility make it extremely dangerous to drive with faulty lights, and you could be fined or even worse if you take any risks.
Just ask a family member or neighbour to let you know if the headlamps, taillights, indicators and brake lights are all working properly.
As well as the vehicle itself, always plan for the worst when travelling during winter months. Ask yourself what you would need if unfortunate enough to get stranded in bad weather, or breakdown on the side or a cold road?
Portable phone chargers are helpful, along with a first aid kit, hi-vis vest, insurance policy information and your breakdown recovery details. If you have any medical conditions, ensure that you have medication in the car for unforeseen delays too.
Keep the boot stocked with a blanket, snacks, water, de-icer, a scraper and a shovel to dig yourself out of any snow. On any given day, if the weather seems to be taking a turn for the worse, consider how necessary the journey is and if it can be delayed.
If not, pack a hot drink in a thermos flask; some proper shoes, warm layers and your waterproofs.
Summer may be the glory days for the motor trade, but if you are as prepared as possible, then winter doesn’t need to cause you any concerns.
Drive carefully, and hopefully, on the bright side, there won’t be too traffic on the roads during bad weather conditions!