With the arrival of Autumn I have started thinking about preparing my car for the winter months. I learnt the hard way one very cold snowy winter when I had the most horrible experience trying to get home in the middle of a snow storm. I was pregnant with my eldest at the time and my car slipped and skidded all over the place. The usual half an hour journey home took almost three hours due to the weather conditions and by the time I got home I was a shivering nervous wreck, quite literally.
After this and knowing that I did not want to experience this with children in the car, I started making sure I was prepared for every eventuality. Some may think it’s over kill but to me, I feel you can never be too prepared when children are involved. Granted there are times when things happen that you can’t prepare for too.
So around the beginning of October I started making sure my car which I rely heavily on is ready for the winter weather and I thought I would share my top tips with you.
1. Check your anti-freeze – Cold weather is inevitable part of the winter months to ensuring your anti-freeze levels are kept topped up will help keep your engine healthy and running smoothly. It’s also important to you the correct concentration for your car, a mix of 50% anti-freeze and 50% water will give you protection down to -34 degrees centigrade. If in doubt you can always consult your car manual or your local garage who can advise.
2. Ensure your windscreen and wiper blades are not worn and if so replace them. Let’s face it they are important for helping you see where you’re going! An easy solution for wiper blades is available at wiperblades.co.uk
3. Keep an ice scraper in the car along with some de-icer is also handy to help you clear your windscreen from any ice or snow that may be covering it. It is vital to ensure your visibility is not reduced.
4. Ensure all car light bulbs are working fully and replace those that need replacing. Make sure you clear your car headlights and that they are clear of snow and frost along with making sure your number plate is visible at all times.
5. Check your car battery is in good health. You want to make sure that your battery is charged fully and that you don’t end up with a flat battery. Most garages have a car battery health check available which is not too expensive and takes around five minutes to carry out. You can also have this done as part of a Winter Service offered by most garages and they will also ensure your car is fit for the winter driving. My local garage offers this for around £40. If you find that you need to buy a new battery you can do this from your garage or other stockists such as Performance Batteries
6. Check that your car tyres are inflated to the correct pressure for your car and that the tread is not worn. Your car manual should give you the information on the correct tyre pressure for your car. It’s important to ensure your tyre tread is within legal limits both for your own safety and the safety of others in the car with you and on the road. If you’re unsure about the size or brand of tyres that will fit in well with your car, Point S can help you find the best suited tyres online, which can be fitted locally all over UK.
7. Keep at least one warm blanket in your car. I tend to make sure I have two in mine so that if we do breakdown I can keep both myself and the children warm.
8. Plan in advance, if I know that I am making a journey that means more than an hour and a half in the car I make sure I put some drinks and snacks in the car for us. I do this throughout the year but during the winter months I tend to take a Thermos flask with a hot drink.
9. Keep a torch in the car. I keep a torch in my car so that if I breakdown and need to leave my car for any reason in the dark I can do so safely.
10. Having a charged mobile phone is also handy to have in case you need to call for assistance. I also try to have some loose change in the car in case I need to use a pay phone.
I hope these tips have been helpful and help you to stay safe while driving this winter. I would love to know if there are any other hints that you would add to my list.
This is a collaborative post – the content of this post is 100% my own.