6 tips to prep your car for the winter
We know that looking after your car is a year-round job which means it's time to get ready for the colder seasons coming our way!
As the winter months draw nearer, not only is it time to get our immune systems prepped and our trusty windbreakers out of the closet, it is also time to get our vehicles prepped and ready!
All machinery is affected by the seasons. There are tips and tricks for keeping your car in top condition all year round: through winter, summer, autumn and spring. It’s all about being prepared and aware of the change in temperature and making sure your car is protected.
You can never be too careful with regards to your safety during the winter months. Here are 5 simple checks you can’t afford to ignore.
1. Tyre check
Your tyres are the first place you’ll want to check out. The condition of your tyres is very important when it comes to driving safely in dangerous weather. If you are hoping to use your tyres throughout the winter season, check the durability of the tread. If you see that the wheel is starting to bald, it is advisable to replace them before the roads get hazardous.
Look in your service manual to see the recommended air pressure for your vehicle’s tyres in winter and pump them up accordingly.
Discover: the can-do guide to changing a tyre!
2. Battery check
Your battery is going to be working harder than usual in colder temperatures and here’s why: your battery will be using more charge to get your car up and going when it’s cold. You can test the charge left on your battery by turning on your headlights BEFORE you start your car engine. Turn the engine on and check to see if your lights go brighter or stay the same. If they go brighter, this could be a sign of a weak battery. Check and maintain the condition of your battery by:
- Checking water levels
- Keeping the battery clean
- Make sure the battery is secure
- Make sure all other functions are turned off at night
3. Light check
With mornings starting later and evenings coming earlier (so it seems) it is vital that your lights are in good working condition. You don’t need to do anything too fancy here - just a routine rundown on all the lights on your vehicle.
Check your headlights, tail lights, hazards, brights and indicators.
Are you more concerned about how to keep your car warm on the inside? Read our tips on how to keep your car toasty in the winter!
4. Windscreen and wiper check
Windscreen wipers should be checked and changed regularly so if you haven’t done so in a while, winter would be a good place to start. Make sure that they are smooth and glide over your screen easily...you don’t want to be caught in bad weather with windscreen wipers that won’t do their job properly.
How can you look after your windscreen on cold mornings?
- Warm water to thaw ice will probably result in a cracked windscreen. Take your time and use a scraper instead (a credit card will do)
- Avoid using your windscreen sprayers during a cold drive as the water can freeze onto your windscreen
- Use your air conditioner to clear your windscreen from the inside. Best to do this whilst your car is parked to ensure you have sufficient visibility before you drive.
5. Check your fluids
Replace your oil to make sure your engine is running as well as possible! In the cold, old oil can slow your car down so a fresh oil change is always good.
If your car needs antifreeze, make sure that you check and adjust your levels before the winter season. Also, remember to keep an eye on your petrol tank. Although we should never let them get too low, freezing temperatures can make it harder for the flow of gas to reach your engines especially if the levels are low!
Do you have your car emergency kit ready? Check out the essentials for your car emergency kit.
6. Get insured
Is this winter prep or just good life advice in general?
If you are fussing with windscreen wipers and tyres before you have insured your car, you are doing yourself a massive disservice. With the number of uninsured drivers on the road combined with tricky weather conditions, being financially protected in the event of a car accident is crucial.
Comprehensive car insurance will mean you are covered when it comes to accidents, fire, theft, hijacking and other insured incidents.
Yours in comprehensive vehicle insurance,