Nobody enjoys driving in the winter. Unless you have a car that can heat the windscreen, you must get up early and scrape the ice from your car. It can seem like a lot of effort when the mornings are dark and all you want to do is go back to bed.
It is important to make sure your car is prepared for the winter months, especially if you live in a region that gets snow or ice on the roads. They can be hazardous conditions to drive in, so make sure your car is ready to see you through it.
Make Sure Your Car Is Serviced
Taking your car to the garage to have a service done should be at the top of your list. You need to make sure there are no underlying problem you aren’t aware of. For many people, it is the cold weather that causes problems to their car, but regular maintenance checks can help this be avoided. They will check to make sure that the battery will last during the increased use of the heater and lights. This can put the car under strain and the last thing you want is to break down on the side of the road in the cold weather.
Check the Tyres
Along with the snow and ice that can cover the roads, you also need to be wary of the increased rainfall that goes along with it. Many people often need to change their summer tyres to winter tyres. These will have better tread and increased the grip on the road, which can stop you from sliding or skidding out of control. The tire tread should be a minimum depth of 3mm in the winter months. Always make sure that your tyres have enough air in them and there are no punctures, and if you are having trouble changing the tyres a mechanic should be able to help you for a decent price.
Add Antifreeze to Your Coolant
During the winter it is common for the temperature to drop so low that ice covers everything. To help combat this you will need to make sure that your engine coolant is a mixture of both water and antifreeze. When people add water to the coolant throughout the year, they often forget to top up the antifreeze. Not only does it help your engine stay cool in the heat, it also stops it from freezing during the winter which can damage the engine.
Double Check Your Lights
With the darker mornings and evenings, it is more important than ever to make sure that your lights are working as they should. This includes checking the front and rear lights, as well at the indicators, for any broken bulbs or cracked lenses. You need to make sure that you are visible to everyone else on the road to avoid accidents in the snow, rain or fog. To do this it is important to make sure both the headlights and the fog lights are working as they should.
Prepare Your Windscreen
One of the worst parts about driving in winter is that the windscreen freezes up whenever it is damp outside before dropping to lower temperatures. You will be able to combat this by adding antifreeze into your screen wash, which won’t freeze at low temperatures. Spraying it onto the screen will also help to make the ice easier to defrost and remove with an ice scraper. It may also be a good idea to check if there are any cracks or chips on the windscreen as they can be made worse during the winter. Wiper blades can also suffer from wear and tear, which will make them less effective when removing ice and snow, so keep them looking their best by replacing them if needed.
Have A Breakdown Kit Ready
It is proven that most breakdowns happen during the winter and most people are never prepared for it. Carrying a breakdown kit that has all the essentials you would need is a great idea. This should include a torch, blanket, shovel, scraper, de-icer, food and drink supplies, and warm footwear for if it is snowing. It is always better to be prepared for the worst, so make sure you phone is fully charged before heading out on long trips.
With these tips for dealing with the winter weather, you have no need to be worried about venturing out in your car. As long as you are prepared, everything should be smooth sailing and you’ll be ready for if it isn’t.