In the immortal words of Ned Stark, ‘Winter is Coming’. From family road trips to driving home for Christmas, we depend a lot more on our cars in these colder months. With the inherent challenges that winter weather brings with it, car difficulties are among the most annoying and disruptive.
Rather than facing these issues as and when they arise, it could be a smart move to plan ahead and make sure your car is winter-proofed.
Windscreen Wipers and Fluid
It goes without saying that without good visibility while driving, you put yourself and other road users in danger. You might think that having your wipers filled is enough to see you (pun intended) through the winter, but ordinary wiper fluid will simply freeze in cold weather, creating more problems than it solves.
Instead you should find a winter specific wiper fluid or antifreeze, that will stay liquid in the cold weather and loosen ice and snow on your windscreen. If you usually park your car outside, a good way to stop your wipers from freezing to the glass is to lift them off the windscreen. Not only does this prevent your wipers from sticking, but it makes it even easier to clean your whole windscreen.
Check your Battery
It’s no secret that cold weather and your car battery are not the best of friends. There’s never a good time to get into your car and find that your battery has died, but in mid-winter, it can be even more frustrating. Sadly, there’s only a small number of things that can be done. It’s for this reason that prevention and preparation is always recommended before winter sets in.
If you’re not planning on driving often when the road conditions get worse, it is important that you switch the ignition on from time to time to make sure the electrics aren’t too negatively affected by the cold weather. We’d also recommend keeping a set of jump leads in your car just in case the worst does happen and you find yourself with a dead battery after a cold spell.
While all these tips are useful for making sure your battery survives the winter, if your current car battery is over 5 years old, you might want to consider getting it replaced or checked by a local garage.
Invest in Winter Tyres
As the part of your car in contact with the road, the importance of your tyres should never be understated, especially in winter when road conditions can be treacherous. It’s important to make your tyres have the appropriate tread depth, as this is what expels water and snow from under your tyre, allowing it to grip.
As the name suggests, winter tyres are optimised for the colder weather and have a deeper tread, which makes them more reliable when driving conditions worsen. It is generally recommended that winter tyres are fitted to vehicles when the outside temperature drops below 7 degrees celsius. Bridgestone’s range of Blizzak winter tyres are renowned for their high performance and braking traction on snow and ice. The Blizzak LM005 has proven excellence in grip and durability. Made from a state-of-the-art rubber compound called Nano Pro-tech, these tyres offer superior braking and control. Despite the additional cost, winter tyres are well worth the investment for yours and your passengers’ safety.
As much as you can prepare for the worst, winter weather is unpredictable and the worst can happen no matter how much you think you’ve got your car ready. While it’s useful to be prepared for emergencies all year round, we’d recommend carrying a winter emergency kit in your car, on the off chance that disaster strikes.
- Portable mobile phone charger
- De-icer and scraper
- Tow Rope
- Warm Clothes and gloves
- Drink and dry food
- First-Aid kit
I hope this has been useful for you. If you’ve any top tips let us know in the comments below.