Published: 28 Oct 2013

Top Ten Winter Preparation Tips

Get ready for winter – the top 10 ways to best prepare your car for what winter throws at it

With the dark nights now here and it is essential that you are prepared for everything that the winter weather will throw at you and your car. Every year warnings are given to ensure that you have the essentials when you travel, but drivers still get stranded without packing vital things such as spades or warm clothing. Jennings Motor Group takes a look at the top ten ways to prepare for the winter to come.

1 Clear the snow

It is essential to not only clear the snow from the front windscreen, but any snow is removed from the other windows, bonnet and roof. Stray snow can fly into other cars, or your windscreen and increase likelihood of an accident.

2 Wrap up warm

You may only be travelling a short journey and think getting stranded will not to you, but keeping warm clothing in the car is essential. Wearing only a short sleeve shirt stuck by the roadside can leave to hypothermia.

3 Check the antifreeze levels

The anti-freeze level can fall over time, especially if it has been a while since your last service.  To find out how to check your car’s anti-freeze levels look in your car handbook for further details.

4 Know your route ahead

Especially if you’re travelling for longer distances it is essential to know the route that you are due to go. Check the main towns along the route and plan it on a map – remember Sat Navs have been known to take people on unclassified roads rather than main A roads. 

5 Check the car battery

Unfortunately it is rare for a failing battery to give warning that it is about to fail. Batteries five years or older are more susceptible to failure – have your battery checked at any of Jennings Motor Group’s Service Centres and replaced if necessary. 

6 Fit winter tyres

Providing increased grip in colder temperatures, winter tyres work better at 7 degrees C and below. With a tread that is designed to be self-cleaning, the snow and water is forced out of the tyre to reduce braking distances over standard tyres.

7 Check the screen wash

How many times have you driven on salt covered roads and the screen wash runs out just as the windscreen becomes covered and vision is greatly reduced? Top up the screen wash with a pre mixed screen wash on a regular basis to ensure that you never run out just when need it. 

8 Have enough fuel

There is nothing quite as scary as the low fuel light when driving in bad weather or stranded in traffic in the middle of nowhere. Jennings Motor Group recommends having at least quarter of a tank to allow for weather related diversions or hold ups. 

9 Have hot drinks and snacks

This is one to consider especially if travelling on long distances in adverse weather conditions. Take a flask, bottled water and chocolate with you – you’ll never know how long you may be held-up for.

10 Pack a shovel

Prices at around £6, a shovel may help you get back on your way when you become stuck especially in rear drive cars. If you don’t pack one, it’ll be snowing by the time you get to your destination!

Create a winter check list

So you have prepared your car for winter, the final thing to do is create a check list to help you get on your way.  The Jennings Motor Group Quick Checklist includes:

  • An Ice scraper
  • De-icer and a space de-icer
  • Boots and/or wellies
  • Blanket
  • Tow rope
  • Torch (and spare batteries)
  • Warning triangle
  • Hi-vis vest
  • Road atlas
  • Mobile phone that is charger (power adaptor if car has power connectivity)

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