Saturday, 10 November 2018

Keeping Your Car Safe For Winter

We have been really lucky with the long hot summer this year, but then it seemed to go from summer to winter without any autumn! It was a bit of a shock for everyone and suddenly we find ourselves preparing for the harsh weather. We prepare ourselves with new coats, winter boots and woolly hats but have you prepared your car too?

Check your car battery

This is important because the harsh weather in winter can put a strain on your car battery. The damp weather affects the battery connections and the cold in the air makes it harder for a car battery to turn over and start. So if you cannot check the battery at home, make sure you take it and get it checked out at a garage. Also, make sure you carry some jump leads in the car and that you know how to use them, then if you do get a flat battery, you can easily get on the move again

Check your tyres. 


You should never drive around with bald tyres anyway but the winter time is an even important time to make sure your tyres have enough tread on them. The legal safe size of the tread on a tyre is 1.6 mm, but you want your tread bigger than that because then your braking with be quicker and safer. Have you ever done the 20p test? Pop a 20p in the tread of the tyre and if most of the ''20'' fit in the tread, then your tyres have enough tread on them. Take the tyre challenge now to see if you know your stuff! If you are travelling to Europe where the winters can be harsher, then you will need winter tyres or snow chains. Don't forget to check the spare tyre too before the winter sets in because it's no good having perfect tyres on your car, but no spare one in case of an emergency. You can even buy tyres online at Kwik Fit if you don't have time to go to a garage.

Emergency box

Sometimes you can get stuck in a snow storm or break down in the middle of nowhere so you should carry an emergency box with you. Pop the following items into it, just in case.

A blanket
A torch
Bottled water
Portable phone charger
Hi-Vis Vest
Snacks
A lighter
Warm Clothes
Rope
Wellies
Portable shovel

You should always carry a warning Triangle and first aid kit anyway in the car.


Check your lights

The nights are really drawing in now, so you need to make sure your lights are working. Give them a clean because there is so much dirt and dust on the roads, this time of year and it gets even worse when the salt gets put down on the road to stop you slipping on the ice. If your lights get dirty it means that other cars cannot see you coming and you cannot see other people or cars ..... until its too late.  Carry extra light bulbs in your boot too, just in case one goes and you can't get to a garage there and then to fix it. Make sure you know how to change the bulbs too because if you're in the middle of nowhere in the dark and wet weather, you will need to know what you're doing.

Check Antifreeze and screen wash

In the damp weather you are going to get so much dirt splashed up on to your windscreen so check that you have enough screenwash in the car. This is easy to do and it will help your windscreen wipers to be free of smearing when you use them in the rain or to clean the dirt from the windows. Pop a spare bottle in the boot too. Antifreeze will make sure that the water in your engine doesn't freeze when the temperature drops, so make sure its topped up and keep some spare antifreeze in the boot.

Check your car insurance and roadside assistance

This is especially important if you are planning a winter trip abroad, make sure you have the correct coverage, in case of an incident. But its just as important to have the correct coverage at home too. You are more likely to have an accident in the bad winter weather, so please be covered. Your roadside assistance is equally as important, especially if you are planning on taking a big Christmas road trip. Has it got home start, in case your car won't start after a freezing cold night?

Get your car serviced



If you don't know how to get your car checked out by yourself, get it into a garage for someone qualified to make sure it is winter ready. It's no good thinking that your car won't break down or have something go wrong with it because its likely to go wrong.

So are you ready for the winter? Hopefully, these tips might just remind you of something that you have forgotten.

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