Top tips on how to ensure your car stays on the road during winter

By Mya Bollan

The cold, winter months can cause some real issues when it comes to keeping your car road safe.

Maintainance issues impacting both your exterior and interior can come to head as the weather creates difficult driving conditions.

From chilly temperatures freezing up your car to dark mornings and nights making visibility a little more difficult, there are many things that can cause driving to be a little more tricky at this time of year.

To help keep your motor in check as we travel through winter, Euro Car Parts have put together some of their top tips.

Here is all you need to know.

1. Give your battery a health check

Winter weather can play havoc with your car’s internal mechanics, so checking the essentials such as oil levels and tyre pressure, is necessary before any journey.

However, one of the main reasons there is an increase in breakdowns during winter months is due to the impact cold weather has on the car's battery.

The cold effects the chemical process that takes place in the battery making it harder for a charge to be held.

2. Fill up on anti-freeze

Having the appropriate level of anti-freeze is crucial during colder months, as without it you may see your engine have a major malfunction when the temperature drop below zero.

Your car’s cooling system should be a 50/50 mix with anti-freeze and water at this time of year.

Getting a winter service is a great way to get all these areas of your cars checked over.

These services will normally involve a battery check, anti-freeze and oil level check and a look over tyres and coolant levels.

3. Ensure you have good visibility

Ensuring you have crystal clear visibility of the road and being visible to other drivers is crucial, especially in wintry conditions.

Having your screen wash topped up and fully functional wiper blades is vital to ensure you’re able to properly clean your windscreen and not reduce your visibility.

Poor visibility can dramatically slow down your reaction times and could even lead to an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three points on your licence if you are found to be driving without due care and attention.

4. Keep lights bright

Cleaning all your exterior lights, and checking they work with no broken bulbs or cracked lenses will guarantee your visibility to other drivers. It’s also the law to keep up with the function of car lights so you could face legal action if these aren’t maintained.

It’s another £100 on-the-spot fine for driving with one broken headlight, which can lead to a £1,000 fine if not fixed.

The Highway Code stipulates that ‘lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plates must be kept clean and clear’, so wiping down your lights after a winter’s drive is key to driving safely.

5. Check on tyres and breaks

Icy conditions and slippery leaves can make roads treacherous at this time of year, with stopping distances being vastly increased on snowy and slippery roads.

If you have any rattles, shakes or squeaks in your breaks, now is the time to get them checked out. Worn or tired out breaks will only exacerbate the longer stopping distances caused by bad weather – having your breaks in tip top condition should always be a priority.

Checking your tyres are at the correct pressure and tread depth is key to avoiding skids and slips on icy roads, with experts recommending a depth of 3mm during winter months opposed to the legal depth of 1.6mm.

You may even want to invest in winter tyres or snow chains.

Helen Robinson, Corporate Communications Director at Euro Car Parts said: “The British weather is unpredictable at the best of time, but more so in the winter months. Being prepared and ensuring your own safety and others on the roads is crucial with bad weather looming.

We hope these tips will allow you peace of mind when you're travelling this winter and leave you prepared for any wintry weather that might may come your way.”

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