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Top 5 Tuesdays: 5 Tips To Winter Proof Your Car

October 7, 2014

Top5Tuesdays

The past couple of winters have seen widespread snow and ice on our roads, with temperatures regularly falling below -10C. In these harsh conditions your car’s more likely to break down and accidents occur far more regularly. So if you don’t fancy ice skating to work, use our top five tips to prepare your car for winter – so you can stay warm during the impending blizzard.

  • Batteries – Dead batteries are the most common cause of winter breakdowns
  • Antifreeze – Ensuring you have adequate antifreeze in your coolant will keep you moving
  • Windscreen – Keeping your windscreen clear of ice and dirt is vital for good driving visibility
  • Tyres – The quality of your tyres during winter will largely impact the driveability of your car
  • Winter Emergency Kit – Keeping a few emergency items in your car could prove life saving
Winter Road

Image Source: Hafsteinn Robertsson

Batteries

Dead batteries are the most common cause of winter breakdowns, accounting for one third of total call outs for breakdown companies. Car batteries usually last no longer than five years, but you can extend their lifespan by limiting the use of heaters and blowers – as well as not leaving your car unused for long periods. If your battery is nearing the end of its lifespan, it’s worth changing before winter to avoid the inconvenience of a potential breakdown.

Antifreeze

During winter months, it’s vital to check coolant level regularly and if required – top up with a mixture of the correct antifreeze. Your garage will check the concentration to ensure your car is protected from the deep-freeze. Antifreeze is cheap, but repairing damage to a cracked engine could cost you a small fortune.

Windscreen

Ice on the windscreen becomes a regular and annoying occurrence during winter. Make sure you leave the house 10 minutes earlier than usual to clear your windscreen, ensuring that your car is adequately stocked with de-icer and a scraper. Windscreen wash becomes essential as gritters start to appear on the roads, so it’s important to top up regularly. Not all windscreen wash is created equal, so make sure you look for one that provides you with protection down to at least -10C.

Tyres

If you don’t wish to invest in winter tyres, it’s important to regularly check the tread depth and tyre pressures of your current set. The quality of your tyres becomes increasingly important as the condition of the roads deteriorate. The AA recommends an absolute minimum tread depth of 2mm to ensure you stay in control of your vehicle during winter months, 3mm is ideal. It’s also important to check your tyre pressure at least every fortnight, making sure that it meets the manufacturers desired levels – the correct pressure can be found in your car’s handbook.

Winter Emergency Kit

Keeping a few essential emergency items in your car could prove life saving! Should you become stranded during cold weather conditions, we’ve got some essential items to keep you cosy. We recommended keeping a blanket, snacks and a bottle of water handy to keep you comfortable on the road side. Ensure your boot is stocked with a decent shovel, tow rope, torch, battery jump leads and snow chains should you live in a remote area.

 

If you feel like your car isn’t up to scratch to survive the coming winter, look no further than the Car Loan Warehouse. We’re experts in car finance, and can find a deal that’s perfect for you. Apply online for an instant decision or try our quick and easy car loan calculator to get a quote.

 

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.