Top 10 tips to prepare your car for winter

An unusually mild September and October has only served to delay the inevitable – winter is coming (no that will never get old!). With a little care and the help of our top 10 tips to prepare your car for winter, you can make it through the colder months' breakdown free.

1. Winter service

A typical winter service usually includes a mechanic inspecting your lights, oil, antifreeze, windscreen wipers, batteries, tyres, and more.

The cold can throw up a lot of extra problems compared to the summer months, so even if your car isn’t due a service we advise going to get one before winter.

2. Battery

The last thing you want to do on a freezing cold morning is have to jumpstart your car. Nor do you want to get stuck on a road!

With an effective lifespan of around 5 years, checking on your car battery is an important part of preparing your car for winter.

The increased use of your heating system and headlights means the battery has to work harder than ever.

3. Antifreeze

Drivers tend to top up their engine coolant with water throughout the year, but as the ratio should be around 50:50 combined with antifreeze it can become diluted. This will lead the engine to overheat, which is a definite no-no, so you’ll want to make sure it’s properly topped up.

4. Tyres

Steering and braking are two driving elements you want working perfectly in winter. With wet and often icy roads to battle, make sure your tyres are in good condition.

It may be worth considering changing to winter tyres as they provide better grip on snowy, slushy and icy roads.

5. Headlights

As part of preparing your car for winter you’ll want to check all your lights are working and clean.

Ensure there are no cracked or damaged reflectors or lenses, no blown bulbs and no dirt or grease covering them.

Make sure to also check your fog lights and headlights in full beam.

6. Windscreen and wipers

We recommend giving your windscreen a good clean both inside and out. It’s also worth topping up your screenwash fluid with antifreeze.

Don’t forget to inspect your windscreen for any chips, and to see if your wipers are in good working order just run a finger down the blades to look for any tears or nicks.

7. Winter car kit

Your winter emergency car kit should include:

  • Torch with working batteries
  • Spare batteries!
  • Snow shovel
  • Blanket
  • Hi vis vest
  • Food and drink
  • Ice scraper
  • Phone charger

8. Breakdown cover

During winter it’s vital to have comprehensive cover.

This’ll give you peace of mind that you won’t end up stranded and have to resort to using your winter car kit!

9. Prepare

If you’re about to set off on a long journey, it’s best to prepare in advance.

Check the weather and latest travel news and go for the safest route, even if it’s not always the quickest.

10. Fuel

If the recent petrol shortage taught us anything, it’s that we don’t want to be left with nothing in the tank!

This is true for preparing your car for winter too. Our advice is to keep a minimum of a quarter of tank of petrol.

So you know what you need to do to prepare your car for winter, now you just need to find your next vehicle!