Prepare Your Car For Snow

How To Prepare Your Car For Snow

If you haven’t noticed, the weather is not getting any milder and we have at least a few months of icy hardship on the horizon. So how can we ensure that our cars manage to deal with these near arctic conditions without too many difficulties? As well as depending on our vehicles for commuting and getting the family around, we also need to keep ourselves safe when negotiating the snow and icy roads. But don’t worry too much, if you follow these 10 car maintenance tips, you should get through to the considerably sunnier side without more than a little frostbite.

As soon as the road surface begins to drop below freezing, your car will start to have issues with the grip factor. Your tyres need to be in good condition and you should also ensure that they are pumped up appropriately. If you have ever experienced a skid, even at slow speed, you’ll know how terrifying it can be. If you are living in an extra cold part of the country, you could even look into having snow tyres fitted as an extra precaution.

If you leave your home before 8am in the morning, you’ll be using your lights more often than not. Check that they’re working and keep some spare bulbs in your dashboard in case they give up the ghost en-route. Give the outer lens a wipe every now and then because the road debris can play havoc with their visibility.

Your battery will take a beating in the colder months and you don’t want it to let you down when you need it most. You’ll be sucking the juice out of your unit with the extra heating and lighting requirements, so think about upgrading if your old one is a little on the feeble side. 

If your radiator doesn’t have sufficient anti-freeze, you could be looking at a very expensive headache. If the coolant system turns into ice, your engine block could easily crack and the insurance will certainly not be interested in paying for the new one. Ask your local garage to renew the level and you’ll be saving a packet in the process.

Cover your car
Unless you are lucky enough to have a nice and dry garage, your car will take some direct hits when the rain and sleet decide to drop in for a chat. But you could always acquire a decent car cover to keep it warm on the winter nights. You’ll also probably save five minutes of hideous ice scraping every morning as well.

Get cover as well
If your insurance policy doesn’t include a breakdown service, perhaps you should look into buying some winter cover. It’s no coincidence that you see far more breakdown trucks at this time of year, so get your own back covered and pick one that you like.

Windscreen washers
You’ll be using far more water on your windscreen in the winter, especially when dealing with the dirty crud that flies off the winter roads, and what happens when it all freezes up? So add a little antifreeze into the mix and your windscreen will continue to sparkle.

Keep a can of this inside your house and you can use it to deal with those frozen locks that love to surprise us on the extra special mornings. You can always leave it in the car instead, but where is the fun in that?

You should always ensure that your brakes are in good condition and that goes double for the winter months. Your breaking distance is severely reduced when the roads are wet or icy, so give yourself a fighting chance of stopping in time by checking that the discs and pads are up to the task in hand.

Okay, so your car is ready for whatever Jack Frost can throw in its path, but how about you? Your driving skills need to be up to the task and you really need to pay due care and attention like never before. Pay heed to the speed limits and leave a little extra distance between you and the car in front. Never try to overtake when you can’t see the road ahead clearly and always ensure that your visibility isn’t affected by ice on your windscreen. It’s worth getting up a little earlier than usual so you can warm the car up before heading off to work. If you have to spend five or 10 minutes extra dealing with the ice and other nasties, you could end up rushing into an accident.

And stay safe
If you follow these tips and remember to take it a little slower, you’ll have a safe winter driving experience and so will your precious car.

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