Driving in winter can be stressful enough at the best of times, but without the right preparation, it can actually be even worse still. To make sure your car is ready for whatever the colder season has to throw at you, learning the best tips and tricks of the trade to winterproof your vehicle can be one of the smartest things that you could do all year, and we’re here with our vehicle inspection knowhow to help you do exactly that, as well as the how as well.
Each of these winter car preparation tips is essential for you to drive safely and legally in the winter, and they actually affect other road users as well as yourself. They should all be practised to every year without fail. check up on them regularly through the season.
1. Use Antifreeze
One of the biggest and the easiest things that you can do to help make sure your car is winter prepared is to make sure that you add antifreeze to your engine fluid where required to do so and to the right levels. This is much more applicable to those of us who live in the colder climates, but it’s never a bad thing to do as it helps in the summer by raising heating points as well as other engine health benefits.
Adding some antifreeze to your engine fluid can be the only thing standing between you and a huge engine fault as things get really cold and the liquid freezes. It’s so simple but remember what it can save you. The alternative is an engine filled with frozen liquid that expands and causes all kinds of problems you could be out hundreds if not thousands to fix.
Buy ith either pre mixed or concentrated and added to water to create a 50:50 ratio. It’s always worth the small expense.
2. Keep De-icer
This is one of the more common ways to prepare your car for winter, and again, it’s so easy to do that you might just forget about it until it’s too late. De-icer is one of the handiest tools around if you find yourself driving early or late in the day, and if you don’t have it, it can be easy to make yourself late for work, or worse still, make you rush straight into an accident.
As well as making sure that your visibility is impaired in a hurry (which isn’t easy to do), it even helps with frost on your mirrors and other windows, and in extreme cases, helps you get your doors open if they’re stuck. A little preparation goes a really long way.
3. Fill Wiper Fluid
Wiper fluid is something your car needs all year round, and winter car preparation isn’t any different. When you’re driving around in the cold and wet weather, you’ll likely find yourself struggling to see for most of the time. The spray from the road is never-ending, and your windshield always takes the brunt of things.
If you have a long-distance to drive, top-up before you do and even think about taking some with you. That way, even if you run out, you don’t have to risk your own life to try and keep your eyes on the road! It really does make a huge difference, and it’s a good habit to get into. Again, you can buy it pre-mixed and ready to use or make your own to make the substance last longer with added water. It’s a personal choice, but one that you should always take.
4. Equip Tyres
Taking things to the slightly more difficult and pricey end of the scale, it’s not uncommon to hear people recommending winter tyres as a handy winter car tip. They have a much better grip and a much deeper tread to make sure they’re more effective at gripping the road in wintery conditions. They can be one of the biggest risk factors at any time of the year, and their importance really can’t be stressed enough for your own safety as well as other road users.
This might not always be essential, but if you do a lot of driving, it’s a good idea to make the investment. If they are an expense you don’t feel necessary though, it’s still a good idea to use all weather tyres instead of summer tyres that are running through to winter, as the danger is then posed from wear and tear as well as having ill equiped treads anyway. Always think ahead and account for how much driving you’ll be doing and when you’re likely due a tyre change.
5. Seasonal Service
The last thing that we’ll suggest to prepare your car for the winter is to get a winter service. All of these changes and more can be made without a second thought, as well as a tonne of other things too. A service means that a certified mechanic is going to take a look at your car for you and make sure it’s staying in the condition that you need it to be. It’s a small price to pay to make sure your safety is paramount and the peace of mind that comes along with it. (It’s great to improve your car’s history when it comes to reselling too!)
Ultimately, preparing your car for the winter can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. There are tiny changes you can make like de-icer and engine coolant that can be real and genuine lifesavers, and at the other end of the scale, if you commute a large distance to work every day, for example, tyres and a service can be worth their weight in gold.
If you’re not sure what is going to be the best for your car and you don’t want to pay for a full service, there are other options out there too. Consider getting a part service even, or perhaps a check on your car to make sure everything is up to scratch, whether it’s winter or not. Your safety is always worth more than anything else and winter is one of the most dangerous times of the year. Make sure you always buy a car you can rely on.