It is important to keep your car well maintained throughout the year, but it becomes even more essential during the colder months. Follow our five simple steps to ensure you stay safe this winter.
1 Check antifreeze
As the name suggests, antifreeze stops the water in the engines cooling system from freezing. An antifreeze test costs around £5 and is very easy to use. Simply unscrew the coolant reservoir cap, lower the tube into the coolant and squeeze the rubber tip to suck some antifreeze inside. You can then see the result on the scale inside the tube instantly.
2 Check car battery
Cold and damp weather is every battery's worst enemy. Providing you have the correct equipment you can check the battery yourself, but it’s far easier to ask a specialist. Most will refit a new one for you at a cost of around £60 to £100 for the battery depending on size, type and electric current produced.
3 Check winter tyres
For more frequent drivers, it may be worth considering buying a set of winter tyres. Although not a cheap investment, it’s a worthwhile one as they offer fantastic grip and safety. If changing the tyres isn’t an option you should still take some steps to ensure their safety. Start by checking the tyre depth (legal limit 1.6mm) and tyre pressure regularly.
4 Check exterior lights
Although it sounds simple, this is a worthwhile part of your winter checklist. Shorter days and deteriorating weather conditions mixed with salt and dirt can drastically reduce visibility on the roads. It is always handy to keep a spare bulb near by as well as regularly cleaning and checking your lights to give you peace of mind of being seen and being able to see.
5 Have an emergency kit
It is highly recommended for all cars to make up an emergency kit to keep in the car. It should contain:
- Ice scraper and de-ice
- Torch and batteries
- Extra screen wash
- Jump start cable
- First aid kit