How to get your vehicle ready for winter | 04.09.2017

It seems like summer barely happened this year, and now, with holiday season ending and children heading back to school, it’s time to look towards winter. The cold weather that winter brings can make driving conditions much more challenging. To make sure you don’t get caught out, you should begin checking your vehicles over now to ensure they are able to deal with the impending cold snap.

There are some quick checks which you should do regularly throughout the winter months – from testing washer fluid levels to checking your antifreeze.

Cold and damp weather can wreak havoc with your vehicle’s battery, so make sure you get it checked over by a specialist if you suspect that it’s on its last legs.

With winter comes shorter days, so prepare yourself for longer nights by checking all your exterior lights are working. This is essential in winter and something you should carry out regularly. Also, make sure you keep them clean as the extra rain and possible snow that winter brings can make dust and grime stick to your lights. That in turn makes them dimmer – at a time when you need them most. You should carry some extra bulbs in case one of your lights go, especially on long journeys.

We all dream of a White Christmas, but our vehicles…perhaps less so. It’s worth investing in a set of winter tyres if you drive regularly. These have better grip in snow, ice and lower temperatures. If you decide not to do this, you still need to regularly check your tyre tread depths throughout winter. Also keep an eye on your tyre pressure. This can make all the difference when trying to control your vehicle in inclement weather.

It’s also worth keeping a few bits of equipment in your vehicle in case of an emergency. These may be priceless if you find yourself stranded in bad weather. At the very least, keep a first aid kit, some warm clothes and a blanket, some wellies, a tow rope and shovel, de-icer, a torch and a high-vis vest handy during winter. It’s also a good idea to keep some food and drink in your vehicle – obviously stuff that doesn’t require heating up, that has a long shelf life and that will keep you going for a night.

Breakdowns increase during winter, so if you don’t have breakdown cover, consider getting yourself some. You’ll be thankful for it if you do breakdown in the middle of nowhere on a cold, snowy night. Speaking of which, if you are going on a long journey, take a fully charged mobile and an in-car charger so you can call for help if needed.

It may seem like a fair bit of work now, but preparing yourself for bad weather early will pay off when it does set in. Winter is coming, so make sure your vehicle is ready.