Last week here in the Midlands we had our first of the winter snow.
Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t settling well, nor was it snowman attempt weather but it was a stark reminder that Winter is here and the weather is going to be colder and damper from here on out.
For the last 5 year I have had the same car. It was affectionately known as my battle tank. That was until it lost the war in September when someone ploughed into it at a junction and wrote it off.
Having had the same car for 5 years I knew it inside out. Had it serviced every year and could pre-empt any issues I might have going forward with it because I knew when its last tyres were fitted, when the last cam belt change happened and when the filters were last changed.
This winter I have a lovely new car (and by new I mean 3 years old) but not only do I have the new car anxiety of not quite knowing it inside and out I have to figure my way through with the winter on my heels.
So I am going back to basics and taking some basic car care tasks in hand to help my piece of mind and to make sure I am super ready for the cold weather to hit.
During the colder months its advised that the car needs engine coolant but also a high percentage of antifreeze in there too. We are lucky that the local garage are immensely helpful and will check mine for me so I need to take a trip over and ask them nicely on this one.
Not just for breakdowns but in the car needs to be some essentials especially since I travel in the car mostly with one or both kids. Breaking down and waiting an hour in minus temperatures is not pleasant on your own but with kids its out-and-out evil.
We include some snacks, a couple of blankets, a shovel and I have some plastic theme park ponchos that are chucked in there for good measure, especially since any breakdown on a motorway or busy dual carriage way you are advised to get out the car and move away from it.
Batteries take a lot of hammer through the year but during the winter we are extra hard on them with lights on more and a lot more heaters blowing. A simple check and a battery replace can save a lot of stress when your car won’t start that very cold morning, you know the one morning you have an important meeting to get too.
During the winter months there are several things you need to make sure you do for every journey you make like ensuring your mobile battery is full, ensuring you have weather ready footwear incase you need to walk and setting off earlier than you would normally to allow for slower moving traffic.
Tyres are the thing between you and the ice so making sure they are in tip-top condition is a must.
Low tyre pressures can drastically effect stopping ability and added with ice it can mean the difference between stopping and not. This also goes for the tyres tread depth. If they are on the lower side of legal you could just be skidding round uncontrollably and they will be an accident waiting to happen.
Here is some further details from www.tyreplus.co.uk:
Is your car winter ready?