How to Prepare Your Car For Winter
Here is what you can do, to get your car ready for any harsh winter condition:
Swapping your normal tyres with winter ones is one of the most important steps to prepare your car for winter. It is not just for snow, the performance of any standard tyre drops dramatically when temperatures drop below 7°C, with less grip, and longer stopping distances than winter tyres. Try to get the tyres fitted before it starts snowing, and if you are using previous winter tyres, check the tread first.
Snow, ice and mud are what your wipers will be dealing with over the winter, so check that the blades are in good shape, and that they do not smear over the windshield. If needed, buy some new blades and try to avoid cheap no-name brands.
Windshield washer fluid
The washer fluid bottle is usually hidden deep in the engine bay making it difficult to check the level, so if you drive a lot, buy a large 5 litre container rated for winter weather. As with wiper blades, avoid the cheap unknown brands, as some have been known to freeze when sprayed on the windshield, despite being rated at -25°C or similar.
This is one is a must. You can get a good coolant tester online for less than £10, or you can visit your local garage and have your coolant checked. If topping up, check the colour of your coolant – blue, yellow or pink and make sure that you get the right type of antifreeze to match, as it should not be mixed up.
Visually check for any traces of corrosion on battery terminals and clean with a wire brush if necessary. If your battery is a ‘wet-cell’ type, meaning it is filled with water, check the water level of each cell, and top it up with distilled water.
At the end…
Give your car a thorough wash – not only inside and outside, but also the underside, washing inside wheel arches and other hard-to-reach places. If you notice any trace of corrosion or deep paint damage, have it repaired, as it is likely to get much worse quicker, due to the winter weather.