Winter car safety checklist

Friday 16th October 2020

Why you should use your Air Conditioning in Winter

How to prepare a car for winter

With the nights drawing in, the temperature plummeting and the leaves falling from the trees, winter is certainly on it’s way. But how can you ensure your vehicle is prepared for the colder season? From winter driving advice to winter car safety tips, our guide has you covered.

Car safety tips for winter driving

Looking to keep your vehicle safe, maintain it’s performance and keep the safety of your passengers as a priority during the colder months? Our winter car safety checklist has you covered.

  • Prepare your car – one of the best ways to prepare your car for winter is by ensuring your car is regularly serviced. Whether you choose a master service or a short service, this will identity if there any issues to address before the colder months arrive.
  • Choosing the right tyres – seasonal tyres allow your vehicle to perform in the most optimal way during their respective season. It’s recommended to switch to winter tyres on your vehicle when the temperature drops consistently below 7°C. Find out the difference between summer and winter tyres.
  • Tyre pressure – as well as ensuring you have the correct tyres for the season, make certain your tyre pressure is correct. This will reduce tyre wear, increase fuel efficiency and improve general grip and performance on slippery surfaces.
  • Planning your journey – as well as planning out your journey before you go to avoid being stuck on slippery country roads, it’s also worth leaving more time before any journey. De-frosting the car becomes a staple part of our morning routine in winter, as well as demisting the car windows. It’s very important to not begin driving before visibility is completely clear – so make sure you leave plenty of time for this in the morning.
  • Winter essentials kit – in the colder months, it’s a wise idea to keep a winter kit in the car with you at all times. This could include de-icer, blankets, wellies, an ice-scraper, a spade and a torch. Not only will this help you out in emergencies, but it will also provide you with peace of mind that you have the necessary tools to equip you in a sticky situation.
  • Ventilate your vehicle – ensure you keep your car well ventilated during the winter months. Condensation is a common companion in this season, as there is a greater difference in temperature and moisture levels inside the car from outside. This can cause visibility issues – so ensure you’re using your air conditioning system effectively. Sometimes, opening the windows can often lead to the best balance to clear visibility, and also avoid drowsiness caused by too much heat. Learn more about why you should use your air conditioning in the winter.
  • Use your fog lights – when your visibility is seriously impaired through fog, remember to use your fog lights – especially if you’re on dark and slippery country lanes.

Winter driving tips

As well as making sure your car is regularly serviced and you have the right tyres to battle the elements, it’s important to also know the top tips for driving in the winter:

  • Driving in the rain – slow down, increase the gap between you and car in front of you, and be cautious applying the brakes to avoid aquaplaning.
  • Driving in snow and ice – drive slower in general, be gentle on the accelerator and drive in a higher gear to maintain traction on slippery roads.
  • Driving in the dark – use headlights at all times and full beams where possible, keep your windscreen clean to maintain visibility and be alert for animals or pedestrians, as they’re harder to spot in the dark.

For more information, learn tips and advice from our detailed guide highlighting tips for driving in winter.

Now you know how to prepare a car for winter, book in for your car service online. Locate your nearest Formula One Autocentres, or receive more winter car safety tips from our experts by getting in touch today. Alternatively, book in for your free winter safety check now.

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