Last winter’s big freeze hit motorists hard, and with low temperatures and snow predicted again this year, now is a good time to winter-proof your car.
Freezing and foggy conditions make driving more dangerous, so make sure you have the right level of car insurance. Although car insurance can give you peace of mind if you have an accident, it’s worth taking steps to make sure your car is safe and reliable for winter. Follow this checklist and get ready for the worst of winter:
Check your oil:
Make sure you’re using the correct oil for your car, and remember that cold weather can cause oil to thicken, which can make it even harder for the engine to get going.
Top up your antifreeze:
Check your antifreeze level and also that it’s in good condition. If it’s rusty and brown, it’ll need replacing to protect your engine.
Don’t forget your windscreen washer:
Check the reservoir and make sure it’s filled with a solution that’ll stop it from freezing.
Stock up on de-icer:
Don’t be caught short by snow and frost – you’ll save time later if you pop a bottle of de-icer in your car now.
Check the weather forecast:
If sub-zero temperatures are predicted, put a blanket over your windscreen overnight so that the screen has less chance of freezing.
Take time to warm your car up:
When the big freeze does hit, leave extra time before you go on a journey to defrost your car thoroughly and warm it up. Diesels take longer to warm up than petrol cars, so you may have to wait longer for the heater to start blowing out hot air. Also, if your car’s a bit older its heater might not be so efficient so leave it a bit longer before setting off.
Never set off before you’ve de-iced:
It’s really not worth trying to save time by driving off with your windscreen or windows only partly de-iced. Your vision could be limited, which makes an accident more likely.
Defrost your doors:
When the weather gets really cold, you might find your door seal and handles freeze over and become impossible to open. Never use boiling water to try and de-ice them as this could crack the glass. Instead, pour warm water over them and wipe off any excess so it doesn’t freeze again.
Protect your battery:
If you’re trying to start a cold engine in chilly weather, turn off the fan, window heaters and stereo first so you don’t overload the battery.
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