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Rain, frost or snow, the winter weather does little for your car's health whether you drive a shiny new model or an 'old banger'.
As with anything, prevention is always better (and usually cheaper) than a cure and giving your car an at-home service will not only help make you safer on the roads (accidents and breakdowns are more likely in winter) but can also help you avoid paying out for costly repairs come spring.
So, to help you stay out of the cold we share our top tips for getting your car ready for the winter weather....
Sludge and mud can coat your headlights making it more difficult for you to see and be seen when driving at night and in poor weather conditions. Give your lights a wipe over with a damp cloth at least once a week (or after you've driven on a particularly dirty road) for better visibility.
Keeping your windscreen clean and smudge free is a must in helping to reduce glare from the lights of oncoming traffic. Give your windows a pre-winter clean and polish, wipe your windscreen wipers to avoid smears and make sure you top up your screenwash with a winter-suited solution. It's also essential that you completely de-ice and de-mist your windows before setting off on a journey. Placing newspaper, an old towel or blanket over your windscreen overnight can help stop ice forming if there is a frost.
You rely on your brakes all the more in winter so it's important that they're in tip top condition. If you're not sure how to check your brakes yourself then take your car along to your local garage or take up Kwick Fit's offer of a free brake check.
Cold mornings and heavy use of heaters and lights place extra demands on your car battery during winter so it's important to make sure it's fully charged. Making sure you start up your car with the electronics switched off and giving it a good run at least once a week will help keep the battery topped up. If it sounds like your battery is struggling on start up then it may be worth looking to get it replaced.
Freezing weather can do no end of damage to your car's engine so toping up the antifreeze is a must. Do check your handbook for the manufacturers antifreeze recommendations and don't fill it past the maximum top up level.
Keeping your car topped up with the right type of oil for your vehicle is all the more important in winter. However, avoid testing oil levels when your car is either too hot or too cold as this can obscure the results.
It's important to run your car's air conditioning throughout the winter to stop the pipes from becoming corroded. Switching it on for half an hour once a week should be enough to see the system through to summer.
Keep a 'just in case' kit in your car whenever you travel so that you're prepared for if you breakdown or get stuck in a hold up. A warm blanket, charged mobile phone, bottle of water and snack are all a must.
The ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) also recommend keeping the following items in your car throughout winter.
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