9 tips to get your car ready for winter

9 tips to get your car ready for winter

With winter coming there are some easy steps you can make to ensure your car is prepared for the cold weather and you minimise the chance of a breakdown.

  1. The most important thing to take is a charged mobile phone on your journey so you can always call for help.
  2. Tyres are important. The legal limit for tread is 1.6 mm, but experts recommend having at least 3mm tread depth during the cold months. If you're likely to be driving in really wintery conditions, consider keeping snow chains or snow socks in the car.
  3. Get your car serviced in advance of the cold months to ensure it is in tip top condition.
  4. Keep a bottle of antifreeze and a de-icer in the car. Squirt it on the outside of the screen if it’s frozen over in the morning, using a proper scraper (not a bank card or CD case) to wipe away any excess water or ice crystals. Do not reach for a kettle; the thermal shock (going from sub-zero temperatures to nearly 100 degrees Celsius in a matter of seconds) can crack your windows, leading to an expensive bill.
  5. Keep the following items in your car in case of emergencies: Torch and spare batteries - or a wind-up torch, a warm coat/jacket and blanket, boots, a warning triangle, first-aid kit and jump-start cables.
  6. When driving in wintery conditions, visibility is obviously key, so you need to make sure your windscreen, windows and mirrors are all free from grit and dust. Your wipers need to be in good working order so you're able to clean your windscreen effectively. And it's important to make sure you've added a good winter additive to your screenwash reservoir, to stop your screenwash from freezing, and to allow you to clean your windscreen properly.
  7. Don't be impatient when setting off. Wait until your vehicle is properly warmed up and any ice and snow is melted and you have full visibility. Not only is it dangerous but it's illegal too.
  8. Before you set off, plan your journey carefully. Consider areas that are going to be exposed to the elements, and perhaps prone to flooding. Keep up-to-date with local weather, and make sure you keep your car clean. The salt used to de-ice roads can cause corrosion to your car over time, so it’s worth making a point of cleaning it regularly throughout the winter months.
  9. Ensure your breakdown cover is up to date and you have the telephone number saved on your phone. Consider AutoAid for £42.54 a year and free spouse cover.
  • Find cheaper car insurance at Mustard.co.uk or speak to a Mustard adviser on 0330 022 7421