Five ways to prepare your car for winter

Alice Nicolson

By: Alice Nicolson

The leaves have fallen from the trees, the days are getting shorter and the temperature is dropping; that’s right, the great British winter is just around the corner.

Driving can be tricky over the winter months and ill-prepared cars can suffer with mechanical faults. To ensure your car stays healthy and to avoid a breakdown, drivers should prepare their car before winter arrives. To help you do this, we have compiled the top five ways to prepare your car for winter:

1. Check the battery

The cold and damp winter weather can be harmful to your car’s battery, so it is essential you check it regularly. Battery failures are very common in winter, so unless you have the proper test equipment, it’s best to ask a specialist like Stoneacre to run a battery health-check.

If you find that your car is taking a long time to start, it is likely your battery needs replacing. Do this as soon as possible to avoid getting stuck on a wintery road!

2. Consider purchasing winter tyres

The state of your tyres is particularly important in winter, as worn tyres will not be able to navigate icy roads as well as a set of strong and sturdy tyres. If you frequently drive through frosty weather, consider purchasing winter tyres. These types of tyres are specifically designed to perform better in lower temperature and in icy or wet conditions.

3. Do you have enough antifreeze?

Make sure that the coolant is between the minimum and maximum markers, and don’t forget to check there is enough antifreeze in the system. Antifreeze prevents the engine’s cooling system from freezing, which is a risk in wintertime.

If you want to check the quality of your antifreeze, a test can be purchased for a little as £5, though a professional will be able to give you advice on choosing the most effective type of antifreeze.

4. Check your screenwash

Along with antifreeze, it is important to ensure you have an adequate amount of screenwash as drivers are likely to use their windscreen wipers more over the winter months. The roads are wetter and if you don’t have enough screenwash you run the risk of smearing the windscreen with grime.

When purchasing screenwash, remember to check the quality and the concentration. You can buy ready mixed or concentrated screenwash, but a concentrated product will need to be diluted with water. Not all screenwash is suitable for cold climates so look out for products that offer protection down to -10 degrees to ensure the washer pump does not freeze. This can lead to a blown fuse and a useless pair of wipers!

5. Carry a winter tool kit at all times

Keeping an emergency winter tool kit in your car at all times ensures that you are protected against whatever the weather throws at you. Though you may not need to use everything in your kit, if you ever find yourself stranded in the cold, you will be glad you packed it! Some of the things we recommend you store are a torch, de-icer and scraper, a first aid kit, some extra car mats, wellington boots and a spare mobile phone and charger.

If you abide by these simple rules and drive carefully, your car will survive the winter months and see you through into the New Year.