Winter driving: how to keep your car safe

Cold driver stuck in winter snow.
Cold driver stuck in winter snow.
Promoted by McCreath and Son

We love being in the warmth of our car when the weather is foul, but make sure you undertake these simple tasks before you set out on the road.

The winter weather is the most treacherous time for your car: you’re twice as likely to break down during the winter months, not to mention the increased risk of accidents due to perilous road conditions. It’s essential to ensure your car is in robust working order. Here’s what you need to check to make sure you stay safe – and on the move – this winter.

McCreath and Son car.

McCreath and Son car.

Check the anti-freeze

Anti-freeze is an additive that works to ensure the water in your car’s cooling system doesn’t freeze in winter, nor boil in summer. It’s important that your car’s cooling system contains 50 percent water, 50 percent antifreeze in winter or else the engine will seize up. You can purchase antifreeze tester for around £5, complete with instructions.

Check your screen wash

Visibility is crucial at the best of times, but doubly so in the low winter sun with mud and grit spraying onto your screen. Make sure you have plenty of screen wash in the car and your wipers are in good condition.

McCreath and Son car.

McCreath and Son car.

Check the lights

Make sure they’re all working, and clean them regularly, so that they’re not dimmed by road debris or dirt.

Put an emergency kit in the boot

If you’re going for long, remote drives at all in winter, make sure you have a mobile phone and charger. In the boot of your car, you should have: a first aid kit, a shovel, a torch, a rug, working hazard lights, de-icer and a scraper, a tow rope, and a car jack.

Have your car regularly serviced

Cold causes a lot of problems for cars, but many of them can be prevented by getting a service at the beginning of winter. They’ll carry routine checks, one of which is to...

Check the car battery

A car’s battery suffers strain when operating in the cold and damp, as it is harder for it to turn over. Get a professional to check your car battery. If it’s edging to the end of its life, the start of winter could be good time to replace it, as it will likely die over the cold months anyway.

Tyres

Start with checking the tread of your tires. Legally, it should be 1.6mm, but thicker tread will make it easier for you to steer and brake. If you do a lot of driving, it is worth investing in winter tyres, which offer greater grip and handling in cold and wet conditions, keeping you much safer.

Visit McCreath and Son - your local servicing and MOT centre and their friendly staff will carry out all these checks for you and make sure your vehicle is winter ready.

They have just invested in a brand New workshop where all these checks will be carried out. Their skilled technicians have over 50 years of combined experience and will provide you with the most extensive vehicle check up and update you with all the recommendations to make sure your winter is safe and hassle-free.

So don't put your vehicle, or yourself and other drivers at risk this winter - call McCreath and Son on 01289 33 22 22 or email service@mccreathandson.co.uk to organise your FREE WINTER HEALTH CHECK and get your car winter ready with the most thorough and extensive checkup.

Visit www.mccreathandson.co.uk to find out more.