Our cars should be kept in good working order all year round. However, Winter comes with additional risks and threats while driving. It is vital to prepare for the season and make sure it’s in good working order. At this time of year, we are far more likely to break down and to be involved in an accident. The weather is unpredictable and changes quickly catching us off guard.
Safety aside, Winter isn’t kind to our cars rain, cold and ice can make them damp and increase the chances of rust. Salt and dirt on the road can get inside and cause problems too.
The cold months have arrived so we should all take some time to give our vehicles some TLC and keep ourselves as safe as possible. Whatever small repairs you have been putting off, get them done down.
Innocent Driver has prepared a checklist to help you make sure your vehicle is Winter ready, helping you stay safe, and makings sure that your car stays healthy on the roads this Winter.
- Check Your Battery
If the condition of your battery isn’t excellent, we suggest replacing it. Winter can take a functioning battery to a dead battery pretty quickly… If your car isn’t well used regularly its especially at risk. We recommend that you have your battery check by professional, however, if you have the correct equipment, you can check it yourself.
Signs to look out for:
- Stop-start technology stops working
- Your car won’t start
- Your car takes longer than usual to start
- Check Your Lights
It’s illegal to drive without fully function lights. In Winter, their importance is paramount. Driving in Winter means driving in the dark and in conditions that obscure our vision like rain and sleet. Before each journey check that all of your lights are in full working order. Also, make sure that you clean them, rain and snow mean that they can become dirty quickly, which reduces their quality.
- Clean Your Windows
Like headlights, windows are easily obscured by dirt and grit in Winter. Keep them clean at all times. It’s also essential to keep an ice scraper in your car and thoroughly remove the ice from all windows before each journey. Finally, double-check your windscreen wipers are in good working order before each trip.
- Check Your Anti Freeze
Antifreeze is a solution that you put int the engines cooling system. It does exactly what it says on the tin, stops it freezing. If you are confident too, then you can purchase your own antifreeze tester. Always make sure the engine is cold first. If not, you can seek professional help.
- Check Your Screen Wash
We know what Winter means in the UK, rain, and lots of it. We will be using our windscreen wipers constantly. If your cars screen wash runs out, the wipers will smear dirt all over your windscreen and obscure your vision. You can top up the solution by finding the windscreen washer bottle under the bonnet, again if you are not comfortable to seek help from a professional.
- Check Your Tyres
Make sure that your tyres and well inflated and in good condition. Yout tire tread is critical in Winter, your tyres are the only part of your car that make contact with the ground which can be treacherous due to ice, snow, salt and dirt. If your tyre tread isn’t great, it will take your car longer to stop. The legal requirement is 1.6mm of tread. We recommend changing the after 3mm as this can diminish quickly. A standard method to check your tyre tread is to insert a 20p coin. If when inserted the coins shows over the tread, replaces your tyres.
- Check Your Emergency Car Kit
It’s always advisable to have an emergency kit in your car in case of break down, especially in Winter. The chances of breaking down in higher and the conditions will be worse for you at the time. Here’s what you should have:
- A well charged mobile phone
- A portable mobile phone charger
- High visibility clothing
- High visibility sign for car
- A torch
- Window scraper
- Waterproof shoes
- Spare warm clothing and jacket
Many of us enlist the help of a garage to carry out a Winter service each year. If you choose to do so, remember to get booked in ASAP and discuss the above points with your mechanic.
If you do get your vehicle into a scrap this Winter, Innocent Driver are here to help.
How We Can Help
At Innocent Driver®, once we accept your claim you won’t have to pay your excess, your repairs are guaranteed, you should keep your no claims bonus, and we can even give you a replacement vehicle similar to your own while yours gets repaired.