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Preparing your car for winter

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As much of the North of Britain prepare for the first snowfall this winter, it’s a good time for those who live a little further south to start preparing their car for the winter months. Before it gets too cold, all drivers should perform checks and stock up on potentially life-saving items. This winter is predicted to be very cold with snowfall expected for most of the UK by Christmas. As we have already had snow at the beginning of the year, we can take benefit by heading the warnings that are being broadcasted now. Many people were very sceptical at the beginning of the year when they said most of the UK would be crippled by heavy snowfall. Especially for the south of England, we just didn’t expect how everything would come to a standstill.

When much of the UK came to an abrupt halt at the beginning of 2010, many people were forced to travel by train with horrendous delays, reduced service and cramped carriages. Public transport stopped in most areas and those who couldn’t come into work were penalised by having annual leave substituted. We can avoid all this by careful planning and by watching the weather forecast regularly.

Here are some tips on how to prepare your car for the winter season:

  • If you do not have a garage or car port and will use your car regularly, then get a car cover to reduce time scraping off the snow or frost before going to work in the mornings.
  • Check tyres are in good condition and that the pressure is also at the recommended volume
  • Check under the hood of the car, check oil, windscreen wiper fluid and engine coolant
  • Make sure you have your emergency tyre in the boot of the car just in case you get a puncture
  • Always have a spare blanket, if you have a breakdown or you're stuck in traffic, you can keep warm
  • Stock up on high calorie food; make sure the expiry date is a few years from now, snack bars work well
  • Have a bottle of water in the car
  • Keep a torch and jump start cables in the boot
  • If you are driving when snow is expected, put a shovel in the boot as it may come in handy if you are snowed in

These simple steps can save you time and maybe even your life. If you know what to expect, it’s easier to prepare for, so watch the news regularly and stay up to date with any weather warnings that relate to your area.

gices Published 22 Oct 2010