How To Prepare Your Car For Winter

By: Motor Easy
Driving in Winter Conditions Tips

Winter can be a very unpredictable season (especially in Britain!), with drivers facing snow, ice, fog and rain. The constant changes make the roads and driving conditions dangerous, and the added stress on your car increases the likelihood of problems and faults arising.

With this in mind, we've put together a few simple checks anyone can do to avoid repairs and make life easier during the chilly months.

Car Tyre tread recommendations Use a 20p piece to check the tread on your tyres

Winter Driving Tip: Remember FORCES

Fuel:

Always check that you have enough fuel for your journey. Wintry weather is more likely to cause traffic, and stop/start conditions means you’ll be using more fuel, so make sure you’ve thought about this before you travel.

Oil:

Remember to check your oil level before travel and top it up if needed to avoid your engine becoming damaged and a potential breakdown.

Rubber:

Check your tyres! The legal tread limit is 1.6mm, but in winter it’s recommended you have a tread of 3mm. If you’re getting close to this then it’s time to get your tyres changed. If you have low tread then your tyre’s grip on the road is reduced, which makes you more likely to skid in icy conditions.

Read our guide on checking tyre condition

The other rubber you should check regularly during the winter is your wiper blades. Ensure that they are clearing your windscreen properly and that the rubber isn’t perished.

Coolant:

Make sure your coolant is topped up to the correct levels as recommended by your manufacturer’s guidelines. Coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze, sometimes this can become diluted due to too much water being added throughout the year which can lead to overheating of the engine.

Electrics:

Have a look at all of your lights to make sure they are working properly, check if there are any faulty bulbs or blown fuses, and replace if needed.

Screenwash:

Make sure the screenwash you have in your car is effective even at lower temperatures, it should include some anti-freeze. But remember, colder temperatures demand a more concentrated solution. 

 

Winter Driving Tip: Check Your Battery

Your car battery comes under some serious strain as you blast your heating and have an increased use of lights, so make sure you check your battery from time to time. 

Battery failures increase by 51% during Winter!

You can check it by looking on the top of your battery at the indicator. If it’s showing green, then it’s healthy, a dark green dot means it needs to be charged, and a yellow dot indicated you need a new

Read our guide on checking battery condition

You can also opt for a Motoreasy FitC car warranty, which keeps you automatically updated on your battery health through our smartphone app. 

 

Winter Driving Tip: Traffic and Clutches

Driving in winter can often lead to slower driving and an increased chance of accidents, which then leads to tailbacks and long traffic queues. The constant stop starts and crawling can wear out your clutch.

To check that your clutch is still operating properly you can get booked in for a winter health check. Or, if your car service is due then you can also get it checked here. 

If you find that your car is revving without accelerating then this could be a sign that your clutch is slipping, therefore needs replacing.

 

Winter Driving Tip: Get Protected

MotorEasy can help protect you from hefty repair bills caused by the wintry conditions, as well as protecting your car against unexpected mechanical or electrical repair costs with our market leading car warranties.

For immediate assistance should you need it, you might want to consider MotorEasy’s breakdown cover - which will be able to get your car up and running again 80% of the time.

 

Winter Driving Tip: A Winter Health Check

With the amount of strain your car is put under during the cold, a winter health check makes sure you’re ticking along nicely as the nasty weather starts.

Just follow this link and select 'Free Inspection' from the Repair Category and 'Winter Check' from the Repair Subcategory, choose your time slot and we'll take care of the rest. 

If you do need anything repaired we'll oversee the whole thing and pass on our great trade savings. If you've got a MotorEasy warranty, we'll pay the garage direct for covered parts! 

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