Preparing your car for winter

With winter fast approaching, this can usually create harsher driving conditions. From a dip in temperature to ice and snow - breakdowns are more likely to happen during winter months. There are benefits to maintaining your vehicle before the worst of the weather takes hold. Our guide and useful tips for maintaining your car in winter has you covered.

Tips for maintaining your car in winter

Prepare for longer journeys

Winter driving often calls for longer journeys, visiting family and friends over Christmas. Before setting off on a long journey, always check for the safest route, weather forecast and travel news to avoid a potential breakdown. Always allow yourself some extra travel time and if you can avoid the longer journey, reconsider doing it another time if driving conditions are unsafe.

Inspect your brakes

On icy and snowy roads, stopping distances vastly increase and combined with worn-out brakes will only make this worse. It is always best to give your brakes a good inspection, look out for a soft brake pedal, squeaks and vibrations, pulling to one side or any noticeable increase in stopping distance. If any of these occur, it is best to get your brakes looked at by a professional.

Check the battery

Checking your battery is one of the main things to do. Most car batteries last around 5 years effectively and if it is on its way out, you could find yourself stuck in freezing temperatures. Colder weather reduces the battery output along with the increased use of the heater, blower and lights - all of these put extra strain on your car battery. It is recommended to get your battery checked over and replace if necessary.

Top up engine coolant with antifreeze

This is an essential step to undertake when temperatures plummet. If your car's cooling system doesn't have the correct amount of antifreeze in it, you could experience a major failure when the temperatures fall below zero. Your engine coolant should be topped up to the right mix of 50 percent water and 50 percent antifreeze to avoid it diluting completely.

Check tyres

Checking your car tyres is particularly important in icy and wet conditions as they are key to your vehicles braking and steering. It may also be worth considering winter tyres, depending on where you live and how often you drive in poor weather conditions.

Clean lights

Regular maintenance of car lights, indicators, full-beam headlights, fog lights and rear reflectors is crucial to driving safely all year round - but even more important during bad weather conditions. Giving your lights a good clean and inspecting them for any cracks or blown bulbs can help to ensure you drive safely and keep others safe on the road.

Check visibility

It goes without saying that poor visibility is more likely during winter. Ensure your wiper blades are in good condition and top up your washer fluid with a winter-mixture screen washer. It is advisable to carry additional screen-wash and clean cloths in the car to wipe down the glass and side mirrors. Take note of any windscreen cracks or chips and consider getting them looked at, as the colder temperatures can make them worse.

Carry a winter car kit

Ensure you have a winter car essentials kit that contains:

  • Ice scraper & de-icer
  • Torch
  • Spare tyre
  • Jump start cables
  • Shovel
  • Map
  • Blanket
  • In-car phone charger

Whether it's a free battery check or new winter tyres our experts can help you get your car ready for the colder temperatures in the winter months. Visit your local Setyres branch today for a free winter health check or contact our helpful team today.

Posted on: 19/12/2022

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