Preparing your Car for Winter

Preparing your Car for Winter
Extreme weather conditions in the UK can bring transport infrastructure to a halt. Here's a list of handy tips to help you learn how to prepare your car for driving in winter.

It’s that time of year again, the nights are drawing in and it’s the time our thoughts turn towards Winter safety and driving in snow.

Extreme weather conditions can bring transport infrastructure to a halt, such as the trains being disrupted by snow back in 2010 and 2012. People can be stranded with no way of getting home until the weather improves.

However, if you are in a car each day, be it for a work commute or family reasons, it’s always advised to be best prepared for driving in winter to avoid similar problems.

While around 700,000 motorists pass their tests every year, the real test is when they are faced with challenging weather. Not just snow, but heavy rain and fog can provide even the most experienced driver with problems. Coupled with the fact that 20% of accidents occur in Winter, it makes sense to have the required equipment and knowledge if your vehicle does veer off the road or simply gets stuck in the snow.

With that in mind, here are some tips for preparing your car for winter to make sure you’re ready for anything the weather conditions throw at you.

Jump Leads - Dack Motor Group

What Should you do to your Car before Winter?

Car Winter Kit

It always helps to have a collection of tools to help whenever you encounter problems on the road, be it in the day, or in the dark of night. Your winter car emergency kit checklist should be simple, but enough to keep you warm and hydrated in the event of a winter beakdown, or for when you need to preapre for driving in snow. 

The below are just a recommended collection of items to keep in your car over winter:

  • Flares

  • Shovel

  • Paper Map
  • Tyre Chains

  • Jump Cables

  • De-icer

  • Ice Scraper

  • Blankets

  • Bottled Water and Food

Just having these items in the boot can give yourself some reassurance if the worst was to occur. Every one of these items can help you and the car get through the worst of driving in winter weather.

Vehicle Health Check at Dack Motor Group

Car Maintenance

While it’s great to have preparation for when you’re on the road, it’s more important to make sure that your car is ready for future journeys in the winter. This is standard for any journey, but if there is a forecast of heavy snow, then it helps to take extra precautions.

If you’re not sure as to what your car is capable of in its safety features, this link can tell you all you want to know about it.

Here are some other tips to make sure your vehicle is ready for potential driving in snow.

Fill up the Tyres - Make sure the tyre pressure is to the correct level, and each tyre doesn’t have anything that could make it deflate.

Fuel - This may be obvious, but ensure you have a full tank when there’s heavy snow forecasted; you may need it for the heater. Traffic also drains fuel, so if you’re stuck for too long it may mean you risk running out, which can be costly to fix.

Screen Wash - With snow comes a lot of dirt on the roads, mixed with salt and mud from other vehicles. All of this usually amalgamates onto the windscreen, so you need to make sure that the screen wash fluid is topped up to its maximum amount and that wipers are up to scratch and free of debris.

Check the Forecasts - It always helps to download a weather app on your smartphone, such as the Met Office app to see just how bad the weather is in your area and the journey ahead. Many mapping apps can change routes depending on road closures and weather conditions, so make sure that there is a phone mount firmly attached and the device can be charged if your car dashboard doesn’t have an integrated map app.

With these tips, you will be ready for driving in winter and driving in snow. But to note, if you’re simply not feeling confident to drive on the roads, then don’t. For all the kits and maintenance to the vehicle that can be done before the journey, judging whether the drive is even worth it should always be taken into consideration first.

Otherwise, you will be ready to face most challenges once the cold weather arrives, and any unexpected scenarios you may encounter.

If you would like your car to be checked over by a professional before the winter weather hits, please get in touch