Let’s get ahead of the weather – here are our top tips to protect your vehicle and stay safe on the roads this winter
Winter maintenance checklist
Check your battery
Did you know the cold weather can put extra strain on your car’s battery? It’s a good idea to have it checked properly before winter sets in.
Top up anti-freeze
You need a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water, which is added to the water in the engine’s cooling system. Too little and you risk the water in the cooling system freezing, which can lead to costly repairs.
Check tyre tread and pressure
Your tyres can take a battering in winter from potholes, cold temperatures and wet road surfaces, so it’s important to check their pressure and tread.
Check windscreen and wipers
Check your windscreen for any chips. The cold weather can cause them to get bigger and crack, so get it fixed as soon as you spot one.
If your windscreen wipers squeak or don’t move easily, it’s worth getting them replaced ahead of winter when you’ll need them more.
Clean and check lights
As it starts to get darker, you’re likely to use your lights more so check them regularly. It’s also important to keep them clean so your vehicle can be spotted easily.
Check brakes and keep them oiled
It’s a good idea to have your brakes professionally checked ahead of winter. Early warning signs include squeaking and grinding sounds as you brake, or feeling less responsive.
You can check oil levels yourself using a dipstick. It’s recommended you do this regularly but it’s good to do it before a cold snap to prevent a winter break-down.
Prepare a winter emergency kit
A well-prepared kit should include:
- A shovel
- A warning triangle, ideally two
- Jump leads
- Warm clothing including gloves and blankets
- Practical boots like wellies
- A high-vis vest
- A torch with batteries
- A portable phone charger