Winter Essentials for your vehicle

Winter Essentials for your vehicle

Now the weather has turned, you’ve probably got all the blankets out, filled your cupboards with hot chocolate and dug out all those festive jumpers, but have you thought about your car this winter?

The cold weather is a pain in the arse for cars, and that’s putting it lightly. It starts to kill your car batteries, often leaving you sat outside work or the shopping centre with a boot full of Christmas shopping – just what you need.. not! It’s quite easy to forget to properly look after your car in winter so these are my top tips to keep it running.

Have your battery tested in your local garage

Your garage will be able to check your battery and make sure it is in good order for the winter period. This will give you a chance to avoid the possibility of a breakdown, and sort it beforehand rather than leave it until it’s too late! Where I work (Treeton Auto Services in Rotherham, if you’re all wondering. Free promo and all that, you’re welcome, Dad) we can test your battery free of charge and run you a print out so you know you’re going to be good this winter.

Make sure you’ve got Breakdown cover

Now, this may be quite an obvious one but it’s mostly the one that catches everyone out. A lot of people who take out cover back away from the option of ‘Homestart’ which means if you break down at home they can’t come out to you. This is quite important as when it’s cold and it comes to starting your vehicle up to get to to work, if the battery has died of death and it’s refusing to start, you’re goosed. If you’ve got a friend with a set of Jump Leads then they may be able to get you started, but worse case scenario is that you’ll have to call out recovery.. then you’ll be wishing you added homestart to your policy!

AA BRC Cover

Something else that I would always recommend is a type of the cover that the AA offer which is Breakdown Repair Cover (BRC). In order to take this out, you have to have at least the basic breakdown cover with the AA. The cost of this cover is varied with each vehicle depending on age and the mileage of the vehicle, but for example my 14 plate Peugeot 208 with 20,000 miles on the clock, cost me only £29 to cover for 6 months working out at just £58 for the whole year! Now, what’s great about this cover is that the AA warranty team are really good at accepting claims, unlike a lot of other warranties that try to worm out of paying.

The BRC cover means that if something causes you to call the AA out (ie: your car won’t start, it’s making a funny noise, the vehicle cut out etc) as long as the problem isn’t wear and tear (for example worn out brakes) then the AA will pay up to £500 of your invoice, all you have to pay is your £35 excess if the invoice doesn’t exceed £500! This will cover you for up to 5 claims per year, which means they could cover a maximum of £2500 per annum. This is great for covering parts such as your battery, alternator or starter motor in winter which can be a couple of hundred pounds.. ouch.

Breakdown Care Kit

This is something I’m currently in the process of putting together, but I feel it’s something everyone needs to have in their car, especially during winter. It suddenly occurred to me as I was driving down the A1 the other morning, that in the event of a breakdown I would be stuck at the side of a very busy road, stood in the freezing cold whilst it possibly snowed, or absolutely chucked it down as it tends to do in the UK. At that very moment when it dawned on me that it was zero degrees outside and I didn’t even have a coat on me, I decided I needed to fully kit out my car.. and so it began.

  • A waterproof jacket
  • A coat
  • A blanket
  • De-icer
  • Ice scraper
  • Important breakdown number
  • Torch
  • First Aid Kit

Check your tyres

This point is really important, especially when it’s icy or snowy conditions on the roads. If you’re tyres have good tread depth and the correct pressures, it’s going to be much easier for your tyres to grip to the road making your journeys much safer. When your tyres are bald, this essentially means your tyres will just slide all over the road which is very dangerous. Make sure you’re checking your tyre pressures on a regular basis, and again if you’re not confident in doing so, don’t be afraid to pop down to your local garage and ask for some help. They can make sure your tyres are safe to be driving on this winter!

Remember: keeping your car safe means keeping you and other road users safe!

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  1. Abbey @AbbeyLouisaRose
    December 20, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    A breakdown care kit is something that I put together recently and it really is a great idea! I’ve got a couple of bottles of de-icer in there as well as a first aid kit – I need an ice scraper too though so I’d better add that to my shopping list! Thank you for sharing this great advice, it really is invaluable especially in winter when bad weather is so common!

    Abbey 🌹

    • December 21, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Thank you honey! I cant believe I’ve just started putting one together Id hate to breakdown without it! Aah thats great, you can pick scrapers up for so cheap too!xx

  2. December 21, 2017 / 11:06 am

    Great tips! I’m always so paranoid about getting stranded in the car especially with my little one. I am very lucky that I have my brother that works at bmw so my car gets regular checks and my husband is just as paranoid as me so we have a bottomless pit of de-icer haha! Xxxxxx

    • December 21, 2017 / 5:22 pm

      Thanks! I know it can be such a scary thought, at least you can have piece of mind that your cars been checked out – deicer is a life saver!!xxxx

  3. December 21, 2017 / 5:02 pm

    Great tips! People really don’t realise how much you have to take into consideration when you own a car – I’m sure this will be so help for a lot of people 💖

    • December 21, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thanks! Hopefully it does for those who arent aware!

  4. December 21, 2017 / 5:07 pm

    Hi, these are great an essential tips for any driver no matter the distance that they plan to drive. I do a fair bit of driving and have the seesntials in my car especially in the colder months.

    • December 21, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thankyou! Yes its so important!

  5. Hello Bexa
    December 21, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    Fantastic advice! ❤️ I don’t have a car myself but I know that this will be really helpful to others! Especially in the bad weather, planning ahead and being prepared is vital. Great post and have a lovely Christmas 🎄😘 xx

    Bexa |

    • December 21, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thankyou! It really is, you too honey!!x

  6. December 21, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    These are some great tips! I should have my car battery tested as it ran out on me when I was at college! However, it wasn’t too bad as it meant that I could find somewhere warm to sit inside my college until the AA came!

    Ciara |

    • December 21, 2017 / 5:21 pm

      Thankyou! Oh thank goodness you were somewhere safe! They are such a pain for failing at the worst places ever haha!!x

  7. December 21, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    This is an AMAZING post something I think some might not think about but it’s important, our starter motor froze the other day and we’re getting a new one, just goes to show what the cold can do to a car but thankfully we were on top of it. It’s important to look after our cars in the winter, thank you for sharing this!

    • December 22, 2017 / 9:47 am

      Thank you!! They can be such a pain at times!

  8. December 21, 2017 / 5:55 pm

    My dad could have used a break-down kit the other day when the car stopped in the middle lane of an A road! Our car actually got scrapped today because the engine completely went – it was just an unfortunate time of year for it to happen, when it’s freezing outside! Great post and really useful tips that most people need to know! <3

    • December 22, 2017 / 9:46 am

      Oh thats not good at all! Its such a nightmare, thanks Jenny!xxx

    • sazsinclair
      January 1, 2018 / 6:24 pm

      Thank you Chloe! I do tend to shy away from driving as much as possible in bad weather but sometimes it’s not easily avoidable!xx

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