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Get your car winter ready

Driving in Winter can not only be more stressful and generally less enjoyable, but it can also be more dangerous if you are not prepared. There’s a few ways to get yourself and your car prepared for the Winter months:

  • Service
  • Screen wash and anti-freeze
  • Tyres
  • Emergency kit
  • Carry Winter kit

Car Service

You should make sure taking your car for a regular service is part of your annual maintenance, much like an MOT. An MOT will only check that your car is roadworthy, it won’t check for any wear or tear that could become a costly fix in the future.

By having your car serviced regularly, you can catch any potential issues before they become problems. There are certain issues your car can run into that can become incredibly costly to fix compared to the cost of prevention.

It’s recommended you take your car in for a service before Winter, to avoid any unwanted breakdowns which might leave you stranded in the cold and wet weather.

Screen wash and coolant

During the winter months, your windscreen can become covered in the contents of the road, whether that’s mud, sludge or salt that has been spread to melt the snow and ice.

Once this hits your windscreen, it can leave a layer of silt which makes it difficult to see clearly. This combined with the low sun can really hinder your view of the road ahead.

Having your windscreen wash topped up means you can quickly and safely clean your windscreen of the layer of dirt, allowing you to see clearly.

Coolant should also be topped up before the Winter arrives, to ensure that your engine runs as smoothly as possible. Coolant is a mixture of water and anti-freeze that prevents the engine from overheating. This can be purchased online for as little as just £5.

Winter Tyres

If you do a lot of driving during the Winter months, it might be time to consider upgrading to a set of Winter tyres, which can handle the harsh weather conditions.

Winter tyres have wider tread grooves to allow the snow and ice to compact in these grooves, rather than the tyre sitting on top of the surface which has less grip.

The increased grip will help you get to your destination safer during harsh Winter conditions, especially if you travel rural areas where the road surface may not have been gritted.

Emergency kit

When driving in Winter, it’s important to ensure your emergency kit is prepped and checked before the season kicks in. An emergency kit should include the following items:

  • Water

  • Blanket
  • High-vis jacket
  • First aid kit
  • Torch
  • Phone charger

It might seem like a hefty bit of kit, but should you break down in the snow, rain or even just late at night in the Winter, you would be glad you’ve got this kit to rely on.

The water can be used to both keep you and your passengers hydrated, but also for topping up your car or defrosting the windscreen.

Having a blanket is important if your vehicle breaks down and you are forced to stay in your car during cold spells. A car can become very cold, very quickly when the engine isn’t running.

A torch and high-vis jacket will help you see and be seen in dark environments, especially if you are in a remote area or need to leave your car and find safety.

Carry Winter kit

As well as having an emergency kit in your car which should be carried with you all year round, it’s beneficial to carry a Winter kit which will help keep you safe in the event of a breakdown or a long traffic jam.

This Winter kit should include:

  • First aid kit
  • Hi-vis and hazard triangle
  • De-icer
  • Ice scraper
  • Blanket/coat
  • Torch

If you find yourself stranded for whatever reason, especially in a more remote location, these items will help you be seen whilst awaiting rescue.

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