When winter starts to bite, it brings with it many hazards for drivers. Not only will you be faced with rain, but you could also see fog, ice and snow. One of the ways that you can deal with the worsening weather is to ensure your car is prepared for the bad conditions. Let’s look at 4 tips on preparing your car for the winter.
1 Get a Winter Service
If your car is due to have a service, then it is a good idea to get this arranged before winter. Many of the problems that cars suffer in winter can be avoided by regular servicing. You may find that some garages offer a free winter check which will look at all of the main points of the car such as tyres, coolant, lights and wipers.
If your car is due to have its MOT done, then this should ideally also be completed before winter if possible. You can find an MOT centre in Laindon and surrounding areas where they can check if the car is safe on the road.
2 Check Your Battery
Most batteries have a life of around 5 years. This means that if your battery is around 5 years or older, then you need to ensure it is working effectively. There are ways that you can check to see if your battery is charging effectively and that it is holding its charge. If you have any doubts, then it is best to replace it before winter.
With the drop in temperatures and the increase in heaters, lights and wipers, the demands on the battery are increased. Choose a battery that is able to deal with the colder weather and also has the right rating for your car.
3 Check Your Tyres
One of the most important parts of your car that you need to check is the tyres. If they are worn or deflated then you need to get them replaced. Worn tyres can pose a huge risk if they are not able to grip the road effectively.
Some people invest in winter tyres that have a different type of tread. It is designed to increase grip and disperse surface water more effectively.
It is also important to regularly check the tyre pressure during the winter. You need to maintain the pressure recommended by your car manufacturer. This pressure will vary depending on whether your car is empty or full.
Along with the road tyres, you should also ensure that your spare tyre is in good condition and has enough air. If you have a space-saving tyre, then these also need to be checked to ensure they are in good condition.
4 Carry a Winter Car Kit
If the worst should happen and your car breaks down for any reason, then it is vital that you have a winter car kit to help you. This kit includes all the things you need to be safe until help arrives.
Car kits can contain anything that you think you will need, however, as a general rule, you should have the following:
- A shovel so that you can dig your way out of deep snow
- A torch that is either wind-up or has spare batteries just in case
- A blanket to keep you and your passengers warm if the weather is cold
- High visibility jacket so you can be seen at night. You can also carry emergency lights that you can place on the road to warn other drivers
- A bottle of screenwash is always important in case you run out
- You should carry some food and drink supplies in case you get stranded for a prolonged period of time. You should store food that has a long shelf life and can be kept in the car without going bad
- De-icer and a scraper are an important part of the kit in case the car gets icy. You are required to be able to see clearly from all windows
- Even though you will likely have sat nav or Google Maps, it is still a good idea to have an atlas as a back-up just in case you can’t access either electronic device
- Warm clothing and snow grips for your shoes are a good idea. You might have to walk to safety and you might need those if there is ice or snow
The weather in winter can be unpredictable and dangerous at times. This is why it is important that you make sure your car is in good shape for the bad weather.