Winter Motoring Checks
Updated on November, 24 2017
Winter is in full swing now, and that means your car or vehicle needs extra care in order to traverse the roads safely, as more breakdowns occur in winter than any other month. The 4th January 2010 was the AA’s busiest ever day, before being surpassed on 20th December in the same year, with 28,000 breakdowns occurring on that December day. This article will look at some of the extra checks to undertake before you set off on any journey this winter.
It is important that you regularly check your coolant levels and top them up if necessary. If you are unsure of the correct type of antifreeze required or the correct concentration, a professional, registered garage will be able to tell you.
If your battery is more than five years old, the risk of it failing in the winter months is much higher. Get it checked and replaced where necessary in advance, so you don’t have to worry about age getting the better of it and it failing unexpectedly.
All lights must be clean and spare bulbs must be housed in your car at all times. The lights need to be clean so you can see the road clearly and other road users can see you.
Your tyres should have a minimum of 3mm of tread if you are driving in the winter. There are also specialist winter tyres available that increase the safety of your vehicle, but whether you have specialist tyres or not, pressures should be checked every fortnight.
Ensure that your tank is always at least a quarter full. This protects you against delays, which can be quite common on winter days as drivers are more cautious and traffic can build up.
As well as mechanical and functional checks that you need to carry out on your vehicle, there are also precautions to take that don’t involve the car itself. These include:
– Fully charged mobile phones, and in-car chargers, where possible
– Any necessary medication
– First aid kit
– Atlas/Sat nav
In case of winter emergencies
– Plenty of blankets in case of breakdowns
– Ice scrapers
– Torch and batteries
– Snacks and water
– Screen wash
– A shovel, for severe snowfall issues
– Warm coats, scarves, hats and gloves
– Waterproof clothing
– Hot drinks in flasks
It is also important that you check the weather forecast in advance of any long journeys – this can save you getting caught in bad weather conditions that may hinder or totally ruin your trip.
By taking these precautions and being stringent and disciplined with your vehicle checks, you can save yourself a lot of time, hassle and even money. What’s more, it makes your vehicle safer to drive and safer to be around for passengers, pedestrians and other motorists alike.