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5 Essential Winter Car Checks

5 Essential Winter Car Checks

It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were wondering when the summer heatwave was going to end. Soon it’ll be time to dig out the hat, scarves and gloves as winter returns. With shorter days and bad weather, it’s imperative that you are prepared for every eventuality. Here are our 5 essential winter car checks.

Check your car battery

The battery is an essential part of any vehicle. Without one, you would not be able to start the car let alone run any of its electrical equipment, such as air condition or electric windows. The colder temperatures make it harder for your engine to start, putting extra strain on the battery to get it going. It’s best to regularly check the energy level of your battery as to avoid any unwanted breakdowns. This can be done at most garages or at home with a battery tester kit.

Check your antifreeze and screen wash

Antifreeze stops the water in your engine’s cooling system from freezing, so is essential to keeping you moving. Over time and usage, the protection level deteriorates and the fluid needs replacing. Manufacturers do have differing recommendations of when to change antifreeze, so it’s best to check with your local dealership if you’re unsure. Alternatively, you can buy a home testing kit which will give you an indication the level of protection.

We found this tester kit for only £1.99 from Halfords:

Check your lights

The winter months bring shorter days and bad weather, so it’s essential to know your exterior lights are clean and working property. We advise to carry an extra set of bulbs in your car at all times just in case one was to blow.

Check your tyres

When the temperature drops below 7 degrees, winter tyres offer unrivalled levels of grip. Due to their increased tread, they perform far better than standard tyres in the snow and ice. In the UK it is not a legal requirement to fit winter tyres in snowy conditions but in some countries, it is. If you regularly drive through Europe or are planning a trip shortly, this link will take you through the local tyre requirements:

If you don’t want to purchase a set of winter tyres, make sure the tyre pressures are correct and you have plenty of tread left (1.6mm is the UK’s minimum limit). 

Winter car equipment

An unfortunate breakdown can happen at any point in the year, so it’s best to be prepared. Here is a list of winter essentials to carry in your car at all times;

  • A hi-visibility jacket
  • A warning triangle
  • A first aid kit
  • De-icer and a scraper
  • A spare mobile phone or external battery
  • A torch
  • Extra coats and blankets to keep you warm
  • Plenty of water

Now you know what essential checks to make, you can drive through the winter months confidently and prepared for whatever may be thrown at you.

Administration Fees

To ensure we can offer all our customers the best value we have tailored our administration fee to our customers individual circumstances. This fee is a compulsory fee and applies to all our cars depending on your below circumstances:

Visit Cargiant's T&Cs for further information