Preparing your car for winter
Summer seems a distant memory and winter is certainly upon us. As seen in recent years, for many motorists that can bring unwanted challenges, with breakdowns and testing driving conditions be it from snow, ice, wind or rain. That is if your car decides to start at all.
With just a little preparation you can make winter a lot easier on yourself, your passengers and your car.
Here are our top ten tips for getting ready for winter motoring:
- Check your antifreeze – antifreeze is crucial to avoid serious damage to your engine in very cold weather. If you’re unsure what type to use, ask your garage to check it for you.
- Antifreeze the rest of your car – stop your locks from freezing over with a squirt of WD40, and stop doors from freezing shut by applying a thin layer of Vaseline to the seals. It’s a two-minute job that will save frustration and numb fingers on those cold winter mornings.
- Replace your battery – batteries don’t last forever, and if yours is going to fail, you can bet it will be on the coldest, most miserable day. If your battery is five years old or more, consider replacing it before winter arrives.
- Clean and check lights – your lights are as much about being seen as about seeing others, so make sure all your bulbs are working and that you carry a set of spares with you. Clean the lenses regularly to keep them clear of winter muck.
- Windscreen – dazzle from low sun is a real problem in winter, so give your windscreen a thorough clean, inside and out, and repeat regularly to stay safe.
- Screenwash – just topping up with water won’t cut it in winter, and could make your screenwash freeze completely. Supplement with anti-freeze to give a guaranteed spray when you need it.
- Wiper blades – rain, snow and hail will put your wiper blades through a tough time this winter, so make sure they’re up to the job and replace them if necessary.
- Stay fuelled up – accidents and breakdowns are far more common in winter, so make sure you have at least a quarter of a tank to keep you going in a crawling queue and keep your heaters running.
- Pack a winter survival kit – be prepared for anything with a winter survival kit. Pack blankets, a torch, jump leads, snacks, reflective vests and some old carpet or cardboard to give you extra grip if you get stuck.
- Tyres – tyres are the most important winter safety feature, so make sure they are in good condition with at least 3mm of tread all around. Don’t deflate them to increase grip on ice or snow as this will compromise your handling.
With Octagon, you don’t need to let us know if you decide to opt in for winter tyres, nor will your premium increase, provided both the tyres and wheels match the sizes fitted by the vehicle manufacturer as either standard fitment or as an optional extra.
Winter doesn’t have to be a driving nightmare if you take the time to prepare, so check your car over today and get set for the new season.