I love the Autumn, except for having to collect all those leaves from the garden. It can be a dangerous time on the road, and harsh winter conditions even more treacherous. I’ve written a few times in our car advice section about top tips or driving in the winder, but I thought another view would always be welcome, and you can never be too safe.
Here I will highlight, in my opinion what I believe to be the top 10 tips to get your car ready for Winter. Let me know if you have any other tips yourself or questions.
Make sure your tyres are in tip top condition. You can even buy winter focused tyres. Grip is key to keeping you on the road, whether its braking or control, good tyres are a must.
Good car maintenance is a must. Get your car serviced by a pro, a garage or do the basic checks yourself. Do this yearly. I recommend end of summer, so that you know you are ready for the 6 months of harsher weather. You certainly want those brakes looked at and be told they are ready for winter.
Perform some basic checks yourself. Have you checked:
Tyre suitability (see tip 1).
All windscreen wipers are new or in good working order?
Have you checked fluids? Have you got the right mix for antifreeze for the expected temperatures?
Most modern cars are reliable. But don’t take that for granted. It’s prudent to have Breakdown Cover/Roadside Assistance just in case. Most car cover these days can cover just 1 car, or all cars in the family. When you have a classic car, like I do, it’s a must. If you break down, a friendly face appearing, fixing your car, or getting you home or to your destination is amazing.
Make sure you have the right motor insurance. Sounds obvious, but many people do not have the right cover, or even worse let cover lapse. Look around for good deals, some insurance even includes breakdown cover, or can be bolted onto the insurance. Nice.
One that my kids like. Always have a bit of food in the car glove box, and some fluids in case you get stuck, caught in very bad traffic or breakdown. We always have 2-3 bottles of water in the boot, and beef jerky/ billtong (healthy option, and lasts for months), and of course a few packets of sweets (soft and hard).
Check all your safety equipment and tools. Are they are present and fit for purpose? If you broke down or had to stop, do you have enough lighting (torch), if you were to attempt to look under the bonnet or change a car tyre do you have tools, hand wipes, etc.
Have a blanket and umbrella in the car. Might sound unnecessary, but what if you cannot run the cars heating system, or you have to turn the car off. What if it’s pouring with rain, do you want to get soaked as well as broken down?
Have a portable phone charger in your car, always. Make sure that it is fully charged, like your phone should be before setting out on journeys. If you get lost, breakdown or have an accident, you’ll be very annoyed with yourself if the juice on your phone dies, and you have no way of contacting people, and they cannot contact you.
Have a pack of cards in the car, or another small game, to play should the need arise. Use your phone only if you have to.
So there you have our top 10 winter driving tips. Interesting CarBuyer did an article a few months back titled Best Cars fro Winter, so if you are thinking of buying a car then take a look. For me cars such as the Range Rover, Audi Q7, most of the SUVs and 4 wheel drive cars are great options.
Do you have any tips and advice that you would give to ensure a safe journey on the roads this winter?