As the cold months sets in, Ryan Hirons reveals how to make sure your motor is ready to face the elements.
Winter is well and truly here now. It's the time of year when we flock for new coats, scarves and cosy bedding, among other things, to keep ourselves warm and ready for the rougher months.
What about our cars, though? Much like ourselves, they're sensitive to changes in weather conditions, so it's only right to prepare your motor for the cold season.
Here's our guide for preparing your car for winter...
Why should I prepare my car for winter?
As temperatures drop and the weather becomes harsher, it's crucial to have your car prepared, not only to improve its longevity, but also for your own safety.
Colder conditions mean less road grip, as well as the potential for car fluids to be less effective if not correctly maintained.
Where should I start?
One of the easiest ways to prepare your car for winter is through some really simple maintenance checks.
Ensuring screen wash is topped up is one of the most basic and crucial things you can do. Insufficient levels of screen wash could leave you in poor weather conditions with no way to clean the windscreen on the go, leaving you with a windscreen that could reach dangerously low levels of visibility.
Having a fully working battery is another simple way to prepare, as it may be harder than usual to start a car in the colder months with a worn battery. Having jump leads is a pretty good fail-safe, too.
Servicing your car just before the winter months is always a good option, as fresh vital components, such as brake pads and windscreen wipers, will be much more effective over winter than worn, potentially dangerous parts.
Plus, washing your lights is a good, quick idea - ensuring maximum visibility.
Should I get anything extra for my car?
Although most cars can work just as well through the winter with out-of-the-factory parts, there are a number of things you could add to your motor to make the winter months a bit easier.
Winter tyres are a good starting point. They operate at a lower working temperature compared with all-season and summer tyres, allowing them to be more effective in colder conditions.
A homemade winter essentials kit is a great, cost-efficient idea too. Fill it with basics such as de-icer and an ice scraper for those mornings when things are particularly frosty, as well as some gear in the event of breakdowns - such as a high-visibility jacket, snow grips for shoes, a torch, plus as emergency snacks and a power bank for your mobile devices, in case you're stranded for quite some time.
Finally, take extra caution on the roads. You'll be dealing with potentially more dangerous conditions, so provide more space for other motorists and maybe even keep yourself topped up with a warm drink and a good temperature inside the car.