How to Prepare Your Car for Winter

We’ve had some extreme winters in recent years. From Storm Ciara to the Beast from the East, these weather fronts have brought rain, snow and gales that have caused havoc on the roads.

If you’re a motorist who relies on your vehicle, it’s essential that you make sure your car can handle these tougher conditions. Investing in updates to help maintain your motor now can help you to avoid costly breakdowns and even accidents when the cold weather arrives.

You must also read Road Safety tips during your road Trip to avoid any risks. To help you, here are some top tips for getting your car winter-ready.

Check your oil, brakes and fuel

A cold car doesn’t reflect the actual oil level and it will appear on the dip stick that oil levels are low, so make sure your car is warmed up before you check. Getting the oil levels right is crucial as your engine can be seriously damaged if you drive while low on oil.

Similarly, it’s important that you don’t run your petrol down to the dregs. An empty tank could mean you end up stranded in the cold, which isn’t ideal, especially in freezing conditions, so make sure you stop at the petrol station before your fuel light flashes.  

Also, how are your brakes? You need them to be in excellent working order in case you need to brake on ice.

Maintain your tyres

Check your tyres have the right tread. By law, they need to have a depth of 1.6mm, but in winter this ideally should be 3mm to account for ice and snowy conditions.

Bald tyres can lead to accidents as they can’t grip the road. This can cause your car to skid. You don’t have to spend a fortune on replacing your tyres, however investing in some winter tyres will give you added peace of mind, especially if you’re out on the road a lot.

Look at the coolant level

Take a look at the coolant level and if you need to, top it up now before the cold weather arrives. The reason for doing this now is to avoid your car overheating or the engine freezing just as the temperatures drop outside. You don’t want to have to wait at the roadside in icy weather for the breakdown recovery service to appear.

Test your battery

Is your battery regularly cutting out? A faulty battery is a common reason for cars to break down. Your car might be due a new battery, so it’s worth updating it before the weather changes. Cold weather is more likely to cause battery failure, so getting a new one now can help you in the long run.

Clean your lights

Other cars need to be able to see you once the dark nights draw in. According to road safety charity IAM RoadSmart, you can lose an estimated 40% of luminosity at around 20 miles on a damp, gritted motorway. Salt on the roads can make it tricky to see your headlights properly, so make sure you clean them before you set off. By running these simple checks, you are making yourself and other drivers safer on the roads in the winter.