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Get your car ready for winter
If youíve not got the time to prepare your car for winter, then ask an expert to do it for you. Many garages can do this and some even offer free winter car checks. If your vehicle is in good running order then you should be confident about the journeys you have to make. Ask your garage to check and replace the anti-freeze in your radiator, giving you extra protection from a weather-related breakdown.
Before you set out on a journey, check the weather forecast, but donít rely on it as conditions could change rapidly. When driving, conditions are hazardous, you should limit the time you spend on the road as much as possible. Give some thought to which journeys are necessary and donít go out if it isnít important.
When youíre on the road, reduce your speed and allow more time to complete your journey. In a snowstorm ensure your headlights and number plates are clear of snow, and if youíre on a long drive, pull over for short breaks regularly.
Itís not just ice and snow you need to worry about during winter as wet conditions can be just as hazardous. Check the condition of your tyres to ensure you have enough grip on the roads. Check your tyre pressure and tread depth as these can dramatically improve steering and braking. If driving frequently in winter, buy some winter tyres. They offer exceptional grip in snow and ice and are worth the investment for the additional safety
It can be a while before help arrives in a bad weather so itís essential you take an emergency kit on every journey. Before setting off you should also make sure your mobile phone is fully charged, ensure you have an ice scraper, antifreeze, torch and shovel to clear snow. Carry warning triangles in case of difficulties and spare headlight bulbs is also recommended.
Plan your Journey
Winter Tyre Checks
The safest place to be when your car breakdowns could be outside, so ensure you always carry warm clothes and blankets. If you take the time to pack some winter gear essentials, youíll be better placed to cope with anything winter throws at you. Take a flask of hot drink, water, snacks and donít forget sunglasses so that the low winter sun doesnít make it difficult to see the road.
A Few Essentials
Whether your car breakdowns out on the motorway in the snow or you accidentally lock your keys inside car while de-icing, a breakdown policy could save you money. Comprehensive cover starts from as little as £30 a year and in some cases breakdown cover may be included on your insurance policy.
Check the condition of your wiper blades worn and ensure you have enough screen washer. With visibility dramatically reduced by winter weather, a low sun can highlight every smear on the windscreen making it difficult to see the road. Consider adding less water to windscreen concentrate to make it less likely to freeze and never drive off without fully clearing your car of snow, ice and condensation.