Readying Your Car For Winter Months
Throughout your time as a driver you might experience the odd break down and with temperatures set to plummet, the possibility is raised. Consider this advice to minimise your chances this winter.
Make sure you get your engine checked regularly to ensure that it doesn’t freeze. Regularly top up using the correct formula of anti-freeze.
Ensure that your car battery is in good working order and that the clamps and connections to it are free from excessive wear. If the battery is old and is starting to have a hard time starting the car consider replacing it as it may not be long until the car won’t start at all. You’ll also want to check your brakes and oil levels.
Make sure you have at least a quarter of a tank full of fuel. If you’re travelling back home for Christmas there may be queues and you don’t want to worry about fuel when facing those unexpected delays!
In colder weather the windscreen wipers can stick to the glass, and if they operate automatically when you have switched on the ignition there’s a possibility you could blow a fuse and affect other vital components in your car. Be mindful to unstick windscreen wipers before setting off on your journey and remember to turn off automatic windscreen wipers during cold snaps.
During particularly cold weather you might notice that the doors will freeze shut. To stop this from happening, consider coating the seal with a thin layer of Vaseline or using a water dispersant such as WD40. Windows can also freeze if it’s cold out so ensure the car is warm and ice has melted before trying to force them open.
Your tyres must meet the minimum requirement of 1.6mm tread depth (although the AA recommends using tyres with a tread depth of 3mm in the winter). If you’re driving in particularly poor weather conditions, your tyres do not meet the legal minimum requirements and consequently you are involved in an accident, you could be fined up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre and receive 3 points on your licence, according to the Highways Agency.
If it’s really cold and the conditions are particularly hazardous, consider whether your journey is essential. If it isn’t, consider staying indoors or using another mode of transport.
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