Preparing your vehicle for winter: 10 top tips

Preparing your vehicle for winter: 10 top tips

By Lewis Hughes
18 November 2019

Driving in cold weather can be a challenge, with reduced visibility and low temperatures, it's vital that your car is in proper working order. According to research by recovery firms, you're twice as likely to break down in winter months.

We've pulled together our essential winter car checklist to make sure yourself and your colleague's cars are ready for the worst the weather has to offer.

  • Tyres.  Check tyres for general wear and tear, pressure and tread depth. The legal minimum is 1.6mm, but many garages recommend at least 3mm depth during winter as this gives better grip.
  • Coolant / Anti-freeze. Engine coolant should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze but becomes diluted over time so you may need to top up. Frozen water in your radiator can cause real problems for your engine so get it checked regularly.
  • Wiper blades. Check your wipers by running your finger down the blades to check for nicks and tears. Also check for any chips in the windscreen, as these can grow in the cold weather. If wiper blades are frozen to the screen, you risk breaking the motor mechanics when operating so check them before you set off.
  • Screen wash. Give your windscreen a clean inside and out and top up your screen washer fluid (undiluted in winter).
  • Lights. Check your lights as they are essential for you to see and be seen. Also check that all lights, indicators and rear reflectors are clean.
  • Battery. If your car is having problems starting get the battery checked out and replaced if necessary.
  • Preparation. Before setting off on a longer journey, check the weather forecast and travel news and allow extra journey time to avoid having to rush.
  • Oil. Check your oil level is correct so your engine is well and truly lubricated.
  • Breakdown cover. Check your breakdown policy and remember to take a contact phone number with you on all journeys.
  • Winter car kit. Carrying a few items in the boot such as a hazard warning triangle, first aid kit, de-icer and scraper, torch, warm clothes and a small amount of food and drink will all come in handy if you have any problems.

Some dealers, garages and high street car spares shops sometimes offer free winter car health checks so it's always worth popping by and seeing what they have on offer.

The duty of care function within Selenity Expenses gives you to the ability to store and manage driver and vehicle documents. You can prevent the submission of mileage claims until the current documents are in place. Additionally, the Driver Compliance Pack automatically checks driving licences, vehicle tax and MOT, using data sourced from the DVLA, along with specialist insurance validation.

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