Advice and Tips

How to care for your car this winter

Advice and Tips // 15 October 2019

As the winter months are fast approaching, we would advise you check your car is ready to tackle the cold. You can take your car for a service but we understand this can be a little bit 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.

Snowy Road

1. Make sure all of your lights are working

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.

2. Make sure your windows are always clean

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 car, 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.

Snowy windows

3. Check your tyres

Checking your tyre pressure and tread is an important car care tip, but even more so in 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.

4. Give your car a proper check

This is the stuff that might be slightly more tricky if you aren’t mechanically minded. If you want to give your car a proper check to see if it’s fit for the winter, then we would advise a service from a mechanic.

  • Check that the battery terminals are tight and have not corroded. You can also be kind to your battery by not turning on your lights or heaters until the engine is running.
  • Top up the coolant, this normally needs doing every 2-3 years.
  • Make sure that your engine has enough oil in it to operate. If you aren’t sure how to do this you can take tips from this

Other things you should check are: your brake pads, brake discs and brake fluid.  You would normally get a mechanic to do these.

Man filling his car with screenwash

5. Carry an emergency kit

One thing you may not have thought of is a car care emergency 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.

6. Drive thoughtfully and carefully

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.