How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter

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Now that the colder weather is setting in and autumn creeps up, you may well not be ready to think about winter. But before you know it winter will be upon us and it’s good to prepare early to stay safe and keep our cars in good working order throughout the end of the year. If you want to get your car ready for winter, our experts have this advice to offer.

Drive With Caution

Driving well is the most important thing you can do to get your car ready for winter weather. As the rain, snow, sleet and fog sets in, if you don’t drive safely and with caution, you are at risk of hurting yourself and others. Take some time to plan out your regular journeys accordingly, giving yourself enough time to travel without needing to rush. Speed needs to be reduced in poor weather conditions and being a considerate driver keeps everyone safe. Consider how bad you would feel knowing you may fatally injure someone because you were 5 minutes late for work. Don’t take risks when visibility is bad, or the roads are wet or icy. Consider your stopping distances to accommodate the weather conditions, and be aware of strong winds and how they can affect your driving. Speeding is the worst thing you can do in winter weather and there is no excuse.

Check Your Tyres

The traction of your tyres can be compromised in wet, snowy or icy weather. Making sure your tyres are inflated correctly gives you the best possible traction in such circumstances, and it’s better to take preventative measures where possible. The pressure in your tyres drops as the weather gets colder, so checking semi-regularly as temperatures continue to fall will keep your car ready for winter. If you do a lot of driving for work, or you predict a lot of driving around winter time, it is a good idea to consider getting your car fitted with winter tyres. These are special tyres that improve traction when the temperature drops. Winter tyres can be expensive, so you must decide if getting them is a worthwhile investment for your circumstances. If the cost of winter tyres doesn’t outweigh the benefits you get from them, making sure to check your tyre pressure regularly in autumn and winter is still an excellent idea and costs next to nothing. Make sure to check the tread depth of your tyres too. The legal limit is 1.6mm, but having no less than 3mm is recommended in winter and can dramatically improve your steering and braking distances.

Visibility Is Key

Visibility issues are rife in winter and taking measures to ensure the best possible visibility is the key to getting your car ready for winter. If you can’t remember the last time you got your wipers replaced you should consider getting them checked and changed before winter arrives. Broken or worn wipers wont work efficiently to clear your windscreen in conditions of poor visibility like heavy rain. They can also cause smudges on your windscreen which can cause visibility issues when you’re driving in low sun or risk of glare. Fill up your windscreen washer with the correct washer fluid. Many people fill theirs with water because they don’t want to spend the money, but when it gets cold the water will freeze and not only be useless to you but cause damage to your car. Using proper washer fluid will make sure you don’t find yourself stuck with poor visibility when you can’t do anything to resolve it. It is also important to check your heater and defroster are working correctly in your car so you can keep the windshield clear of condensation.

Check Your Battery

The cold and the damp are one of the main reasons your battery will die in winter. Checking your battery is charging correctly and has no signs of corrosion is another factor to consider when getting your car ready for winter. If your car battery is more than 3 years old it is recommended to get it checked out and tested by a trusted garage. Investing in jumper cables to carry in your car can be handy on the off chance someone can help you jump your battery. However, you may find yourself stranded in a location at a time when nobody is around, so relying on jumper cables to solve your battery problems isn’t advised.

Prepare For Emergencies

We never know what the winter weather will throw at us. Being somewhat prepared is a good option for getting your car ready for winter and avoiding difficult situations. Having some supplies in your car ready for an emergency is something everyone can do relatively cheaply and may well save you a lot of hassle, stranded in the snow and waiting for recovery. If you know you’ll be doing a lot of travelling or you know your car can be unreliable, make sure you have some essentials ready. A change of warm clothes or a jumper, hat, gloves and scarf are good to carry around. The inside of your car can be just as cold as the outside, and if you’ve broken down you could be waiting a long time for help. Warm clothes and a blanket can make you more comfortable and stop you getting ill. Everyone should have a decent supply of de-icer and a scraper handy in their car. Most people already have a first aid kit, but now is a good time to check it is fully stocked. If you don’t have one, definitely get one. Jumper cables should always be carried, but particularly in winter. If the snow becomes heavy your car may get snowed in, so any kind of shovel – even a plastic child’s shovel – is good to have in case you need to do some digging. A torch is a must as the weather gets darker. An often forgotten must-have for winter is a pair of sunglasses. The low winter sun can be really tricky and a car’s sun visor doesn’t always help. A phone charger and socket for your cigarette lighter can be bought cheap and could greatly help you in an emergency, or even carrying a charged power pack for your phone is a good option if your battery dies.

NMT Garage Services

If you are concerned about the safety of your car this winter we can help. It is important to get your car ready for winter as soon as possible. At NMT Garages, we understand the importance of maintaining the good condition of your vehicle and can offer a range of services, from tyres to windscreens, to ensure your safety at competitive prices. To book yourself in or to find out more about our services, get in touch with the team at NMT Garage Services. You can fill out our online contact form or give us a call on 01234 355 888 and our highly skilled and professional mechanics can ensure you get the assistance you need.

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