Preparing your car for the winter months

We all need to wrap up warm when the winter nights draw in, and cars should be no different. To ensure our vehicles run at their optimum during the colder months and minimise early morning delays, we often have to give them a little extra TLC.

With temperatures predicted to be below average[1], there is a high chance that mornings will start by scraping ice off our cars before the daily commute begins. Therefore an ice scraper and de-icer are both essential items to minimise any unwanted delays. Although in-car heating and air conditioning work, sometimes the simplest solutions are indeed the best. Don’t be too hasty to set off however as driving before your windscreen is completely clear will not only endanger yourself and other road users, but also potentially land you with a large fine.

If weather conditions take a turn for the worst, it is always best to keep both a shovel and a Hi-Vis jacket in the boot of your car, enabling you to safely clear any snow that may have accumulated safely and quickly. With the longer winter nights drawing in, your Hi-Vis jacket will also ensure you can be seen roadside in the event of a breakdown.

Winter tyres are becoming increasingly popular across Europe and are being fitted to more and more cars each year. Produced with a different compound of rubber and tread, winter tyres can greatly decrease your stopping distances and increase your level of control on snowy and icy surfaces.

Many of us suffer from a cough or a cold in the winter months, but certain medications can seriously impact your driving ability. Some products can cause drowsiness and affect your reaction times though, so always be sure to check for potential side effects beforehand.

If your engine is squeaking loudly when you start your car, it may well be that the cold mornings have frozen the fluids. Avoid spine-chilling expensive repair bills by checking your anti-freeze is at the recommended level once a week to ensure that fluids keep flowing.

Have any winter maintenance tips of your own? We would love to hear them – contact us on our Facebook page or on Twitter @WMSGroup and we will be sure to share your top tips!

[1] http://www.ukweatherforecast.co.uk/uk-winter-201415-weather-forecast-predictions/