As the winter months are fast approaching, we would advise you check your vehicle is ready to tackle the cold. You can take your car or van for a service but we understand this can be a little pricey, especially in the months leading up to Christmas! To help you travel safely on a better road ahead, we’ve listed the top car care tips to keep you moving this winter.
There are so many lights on the average vehicle and although it’s part of general car care to ensure they are working, it’s even more important that they are working in the winter. With dark mornings and evenings, you will need to get these checked.
It’s always important to be able to see clearly, but even more so in the winter. A good tip is to always keep a bottle of ready-to-use screen wash in your vehicle, in case you ever run out on the move. We would also suggest keeping on top of washing your windscreen, as it’s important not to just rely on your screen wash.
Checking your tyre pressure and tread is an important all round vehicle care tip, but even more so on the icy roads that come with the winter. We would suggest you check your tyre pressure regularly, around every 2 weeks, as tyres can quickly become deflated. The pressure that your tyres need to be will be in your vehicle’s handbook or on a sticker somewhere visible in your car. If you can’t find it, try using a Tyre Pressure Search tool like this.
You will also need to check the tread on your tyres which can sometimes be quite difficult without a special gauge. However, you can use a 20 pence piece as shown in this video. If you can see the edge of the piece, then you will need to get your tyres changed as soon as possible.
If your tyre pressure is low or your tread has worn away, then your tyres are not fit for purpose and they will struggle to grip the road, especially in the snow, ice or rain.
This is the stuff that might be slightly more tricky if you aren’t mechanically minded. If you want to give your car or van a proper check to see if it’s fit for the winter, then we would advise a service from a mechanic.
Other things you should check are: your brake pads, brake discs and brake fluid. You would normally get a mechanic to do these.
One thing you may not have thought of is a winter emergency car kit. This is perfect for if your car breaks down in the cold, snow or ice (hopefully not all 3 at once!). We would suggest including items such as a shovel, torch, blanket, hi-visibility vest, screen wash, snacks, some water, de-icer and scraper. Pack a battery pack as well in case your phone runs out of battery, we wouldn’t want you to be left stranded in the cold.
Whenever the weather starts to become a little more difficult to drive in, you need to start considering your route and whether it has been gritted. Icy road conditions can be very dangerous, so you should always consider your breaking distance. Why not consider leaving 5 minutes earlier to ensure you’re not rushing?
Hopefully these tips will help you move forward on a better road ahead this winter.