How to Get Your Car Ready for Winter – My Top Tips
Winter is just around the corner and if you’ll be using your car this season, it’s a good idea to make sure it’s in a good condition to deal with any driving conditions that winter might bring.
What kind of things should you do to get your car ready for winter?
Make Winter Checks
There are a few parts of the car that are under extra pressure during the winter, so it’s essential to keep checking them and ensuring that they’re in good condition.
In the winter, you use your car lights, wipers and heaters much more and this consumes a lot of power which puts your car battery under strain. The cold weather can also affect the battery. If you can, get your battery professionally tested (this is often free) and look after your battery by turning the heating on when the car has warmed up and avoiding turning on any lights, heaters and wipers until you’ve started the engine.
I’m from Sweden where everyone uses winter tyres in winter but that’s not the case here in the UK. It’s of course something you can choose to have if you know you’ll be driving a lot in harsh conditions.
Whether you have standard tyres or winter ones, you need to check your tyres’ condition frequently in winter — as often as once a week. Check the pressure and thread, which needs to be a minimum of 3mm for winter driving as per recommendation from the AA. The correct tyre pressure will also help you get a better grip on the road.
Make sure your tyres are ready for the winter season so that you can enjoy using your car safely. If you’re looking to buy new tyres and are in Wakefield, check out Ossett Tyre House.
Antifreeze is an important product that keeps the water in the engine’s cooling system from freezing. You usually need to replace this every few years using a 50%-50% blend of antifreeze and water.
Make sure all your lights are working properly and replace any bulbs if needed as your lights are even more essential in the winter.
Wiper blades work a lot harder during the winter too as they often have to deal with snow and ice during the colder season. You should ideally replace them every year or so or when they show signs of wear like making noises or leaving smears on your windscreen. You can help them last longer by removing snow and ice with a scraper and de-icer from your windscreen before setting off and lifting the windscreen wipers’ arms up when the car is not in use to prevent build up of ice. Also remember to clear any snow off the roof of your car with a brush to avoid it falling onto your windscreen when you’re driving.
Build an Emergency Kit
If your car breaks down in the winter, it’s a very different situation compared to the rest of the year as it’s much darker and colder. You need to be more prepared for a situation like this to ensure the safety of your family. It’s a good idea to build an emergency kit with useful items to keep in the boot of your car to use incase you break down somewhere.
Good things to include in this kit are: blankets for all travelers, spare warm clothes, nappies and wipes if you have young children, water, snacks with a long shelf life, a first aid kit, a shovel, torches, gloves, a window scraper, a snow brush and de-icer. A high-vis vest and a warning triangle are also good to have. I also recommend carrying a fully charged portable charger for your phone.
Making these checks and fixing any problems before winter should let you enjoy using your car no matter the weather this winter. It’s all about preparation!