Winter is approaching fast, and the cold dark nights are becoming more noticeable now the clocks have gone back. With the drop in temperature, most machines find it more difficult to function – especially vehicles. You’re more at risk of a breakdown during winter, and adverse weather conditions can also make an accident more likely.

Motor maintenance is essential at this time of year, to keep your engine healthy and your car safe. Be prepared this season by following our winter car maintenance tips.

  1. Get a winter service

The cold can cause many problems for vehicles, but the majority can be avoided with a winter service. During a service a mechanic will check safety features which may need updating before the seriously cold weather, including tyres, battery, wiper blades and lights. It’s also important to have the antifreeze engine coolant topped up to prevent liquids freezing over.

  1. Check breakdown cover

The last thing you need during a cold spell is for something to go wrong with your car on a journey, and to get stranded in bad weather. Take the time to double check your breakdown cover, and update it if needed if you have any long journeys coming up.

  1. Look after the windscreen

It’s important to make sure the windscreen is clean and you should regularly check for chips which can expand in the cold weather. Wipers are used more frequently in winter, so make sure they are doing the job or get them replaced if not. You should also check the windscreen wash is topped up, and put some antifreeze in there.

  1. Look after the battery

The battery is the component which has the most problems during the wintertime. It is put under a lot of pressure in cold weather, and also has to carry the burden of an increased use of lights and heaters. Get your battery checked out at a local garage if it’s not starting the engine straight away. Again, you may wish to check if your breakdown covers home starts, as many don’t and you could be stranded asking passers-by to jump start you.

The winter is a challenging time for any vehicle, so it’s vital to make some maintenance checks to prevent expensive repair bills. If you want professional advice, speak to your local garage.

How to Prepare your Car for Winter