Our top tips for getting your car winter ready

Getting your vehicle ready for winter

As the nights draw in and the days get colder, now’s the perfect time to get your car ready for winter. You really don’t want to break down when there’s snow on the ground, so here’s how to get your beloved ride in tip-top shape for the nippy season.

  • 1.Take your car for a service
  • 2.Check your tyres
  • 3.Make the most of anti-freeze and de-icer
  • 4.Replace your windscreen wipers
  • 5.Keep an emergency kit in your car
  • 6.Check your lights are working

Running to and from your car with an umbrella is one thing. Standing in the rain with your bonnet open as you try to work out what’s wrong with the engine is another. Car issues can be a complete pain when it’s cold and wet outside, so be sure to have your vehicle serviced before it gets too dark and chilly. Winter can take its toll on even the strongest of runners, so it’s worth taking precautions.

Checking your tyres is an essential part of winter car maintenance. The law states that there should be a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, but it is recommended that you have at least 3mm during winter or if you are planning to travel to a colder climate. The pressure of your tyres should also be checked using an accurate pressure gauge. You can do this yourself or visit a local garage for assistance.

Whether you’re tackling the morning school run or trying to get to work on time, ice can be a big inconvenience. While it might be tempting to pour a big bucket of hot water over your windscreen, this could shatter the glass – so use de-icer and a scraper instead. You should also top up your engine cooler with a 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water to prevent the solution from freezing and the engine overheating.

If your windscreen wipers are blunt and leaving horrible smudges all over the screen, it’s time to invest in new ones. Wipers are not usually expensive to replace and will ensure your view remains crystal clear throughout the cold snap. Remember, driving through heavy rain, hail or sleet is daunting enough without your wipers failing, so make the necessary repairs sooner rather than later. You should also make sure than your screenwash bottle is full.

As well as knowing how to look after your car this winter, you should also take care of yourself. One of the best ways to ensure you stay safe in the aftermath of a breakdown or accident is to prepare an emergency kit and keep it in your vehicle. This should include a torch, warm clothes, a blanket, a high-visibility vest, wellington boots, a first-aid kit, a warning triangle and jump leads. Your mobile phone should also be fully charged so that you can contact your loved ones.

When it comes to winter car maintenance checks, make sure you test your lights on a regular basis. If it’s easier, ask a friend to press the breaks and turn on all the switches as you inspect the bulbs from the outside. Carry extra bulbs in case of a failure and make sure the lights themselves are clean and free from grit and dirt.

If you are looking for a reliable ride to get you through the winter months, Carwise offers a host of quality used vehicles as well as reputable after sales services. Contact us today to book a test drive.