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What Do I Need To Prepare My Car For Winter?
23 November 2021

What Do I Need To Prepare My Car For Winter?

Winter is slowly creeping up on us, with days getting colder and darker. This is not good news for our cars, which are more likely to break down at this time of year than in any other season.

This is because our vehicles’ engines are under more strain in low temperatures and our batteries are being used more for lighting and heating. Another factor that Winter brings is wet, icy and frosty weather, reducing visibility and making the roads slippery and treacherous.

To keep yourself safe this Winter and give yourself the best chance of avoiding an inconvenient breakdown, there are some things that you can do to prepare your car for the challenging conditions. 


Carry out some basic checks

By taking the time to check a few vehicle components, you could save yourself a lot of trouble. One crucial area to check is your tyres. In wet, snowy and icy conditions, your tyres are what will stop you skidding all over the road, so it is really important that they have plenty of tread to provide grip and help you stay in control of your vehicle. The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, and if you are anywhere near this it is advisable to get your tyres changed because in Winter, you will want as much tread as possible.

Another thing to check is your engine coolant levels. With your engine working so hard in the cold weather, supplying it with antifreeze will help it to function as well as it can. If you need to top up your coolant, make sure that you use the right ratio of antifreeze and water or a pre-mixed solution. 

In Winter, mornings are darker and the sun sets earlier in the evening, so you will need to use your lights and it is important to check that they are clean and working properly. In addition to your lights, you are likely to be turning on your heating, especially when you first get into a freezing cold vehicle. All of this additional electricity usage requires a lot of power from your car battery and a dead battery is a common cause of breakdown. It takes hardly any time at all for a garage to check your battery. If your battery is reaching the end of its lifespan, don’t wait until it dies, replace it and save yourself the hassle of breaking down.

One of the most important checks to do before Winter is well underway is a battery test. This can be done within minutes at a garage and is really important at this time of year as you are likely to use your electrical components, like your heater and lights, more than usual. Car batteries have an approximate lifespan of five years, so if yours is coming to the five-year mark, it might be worth replacing it to avoid becoming stranded in freezing temperatures.


Pack emergency items in your boot

It is always best to prepare for the worst. In the event of an emergency, you may want the following items in your car:

  • Ice scraper
  • Torch
  • Blanket or warm clothing
  • High-vis vest
  • Map
  • Water
  • Food

With four-wheel drive and a robust build, a 4x4 is the best vehicle to get you through Winter. Take a look at our range of 4x4s and more used cars in Barnsley at Autozone and get a great deal on used car finance in Barnsley with Car Credit Now!