As summer becomes a distant memory and the miserable winter wether settles in, there are a number of things you need to ensure you do to make sure you aren’t caught short on the roads over the coming months. Here at Cox Motor Parts, one of the UK’s leading dealers of Honda parts, we want nothing more than for you to get from A to B safely this winter and with this in mind have put together our top tips for preparing your car for the oncoming rain and snow:
Replace Your Wiper Blades
If you’ve been lucky you might just have got through the summer without needing to use your wipers on at all. Unfortunately, this could mean that you put back changing them last spring when they were becoming slightly less effective. If that’s the case and it’s been some time ago that you last replaced your wiper blades, you are putting yourself at risk of being caught out in a torrential downpour on a long drive with poor visibility, risking the lives of both yourself and others on the road.
Even if you think your wiper blades are in good condition, double check them before the worst of the weather sets in and if they look a little worse for wear, take the time to replace them. It’s an easy job and one which could save lives.
Check Your Screen Wash Levels
Something which very much goes in tandem with your wipers is screen wash, a must have for wintery conditions. One thing that many drivers won’t know is that not all screen wash is the same, differing in the temperature they can cope with and be effective under.
Using a good quality screen wash can make all the difference on those cold mornings and it’s well known that choosing a cheaper one can lead to your washer pump freezing, which in turn could then lead to your wiper fuse blowing, leading to further problems and creating further dangers.
Have An Emergency Car Kit
A breakdown can happen at the unlikeliest of moments and, with that in mind, it is best to prepare for the worst at the start of the winter by putting together an emergency car kit and keeping it in your boot. Breaking down can mean that you are stranded at the road side for a long time waiting in miserable conditions. To ensure, in the event that it happens, that this time passes as event free as possible, pack yourself:
- Hat, gloves, scarf (suitable winter clothes)
- A blanket (one or more)
- Bottled water and snacks
- Torch and spare batteries
- High visibility jacket
- Tow rope
- Jump Leads
There are plenty of other things which you could include in an emergency bag, however not everyone has room for so many items, making it important to know the essentials.
Check Your Tyres & Brakes
One of the most common causes of accidents during the winter months is due to the increasingly challenging driving conditions. Wet leaves, heavy rain, ice and snow can test any driver and their car, so its important your tyre are able to cope with what could be awaiting them on the roads.
Check the tread, make sure that they’re well within the legal limit (minimum by law is 1.6 millimetres) and check the pressure, particularly if you park your car in a garage or somewhere out of the bad wether. Consistent changes in temperature can effect this, so it is important to keep a check on a regular basis.
An equally important check to make is your car’s brakes are in top condition. Braking is more challenging than ever during the winter due to how unpredictable the road conditions can be. Take the time to check both your brake pads and fluid, replacing if needs ahead of the worst of the weather.
Whilst these are what we’d regard as the top tips for winter car care, there are plenty of others to consider including checking your battery, checking all of your other car fluids (oil, water etc), making sure you have sufficient breakdown cover (which covers you from home) and of course buying a windscreen scraper for when the ice hits. CD cases just aren’t as good, no matter how stubborn you are.