Competition: Your winter car prep tips
As we're now officially nearing the coldest season, this month on the RAC Forum we’d like to hear your tips about preparing your car for winter.
Do you recommend any specific preparations to your car? What should be checked and what maintenance should be done? Any other useful tips you’d like to share with us?
And to help get us in the Christmas spirit, by posting a tip you’ll be in with a chance to win one of five RAC maintenance sets containing:-
• RAC Caring For your Car book
• RAC Windscreen covers
• Ice Scraper - Demister
Note: this competition is now closed. Congratulations to our winners wagolynn, woodsifer31200, clairew137, SpinneyWitch and lizzier!
You can read the T & C’s here.
Last edited by Owen; 17-01-13 at 18:27.
It is all pretty obvious really:
Be sure to keep up all the usual weekly checks - tyres, fluids, lights - pay particular attention to washer fluid and use a winter grade.
Stock up on de-icer and possibly salt/grit for the driveway.
Keep an eye on the battery - cold weather can finish off a failing one so if it seems less enthusiastic about starting in the morning then get it checked out. If you do a lot of short runs then a weekly charge wouldn't go amiss.
Whether you carry any winter stuff in the boot depends on where you live and drive - If there is any chance of being stuck in snow then a warm blanket, spare warm socks and a jumper, small shovel and maybe a bag of grit would be useful. If the weather is bad and you venture out of the city then consider switching to winter tyres.
Make sure you have a mobile phone available and that it is charged up.
Above all, pay attention to weather warnings. If they say to avoid unnecessary journeys then do so - even going to work may not be really necessary.
Get a box to put your winter survival items in the boot. Depending on how far you will be going pack chocolate, blankets warm coats, Reflective Hi Visibility vests, mobile phone, shovels or spades. And a good torch and a warning triangle.
This is weird as I'm sure we have done this already? As I can remember posting all the gear I used to pack when I was working away from home, and doing a lot of miles up and down the A9.
Basically, it was all the gear already mentioned, but I used to carry a plastic bag with some grit in it, I even carried one of them camping burners. It was just amazing how much the weather could change, it could go from being a nice clear cold day, to a snow blizzard at the turn of a corner, especially at Dromouchter Summit!
Just remembered Wellington Boots in case you need to walk if your car just cannot move any further. It is worth buying a Hikers Emergency survival kit from one of the camping shops. They include an SOS marker in case you are in a remote spot and need to be located by an observer in a helicopter.
Originally Posted by Dennis W
Thick warm socks and gloves as well
Last edited by Dennis W; 17-11-12 at 10:59.
As I said - it all depends where you are. A driver in London hardly needs Wellington boots and a survival kit, whereas someone in the Highlands of Scotland probably has most of this permanently to hand.
Make sure your antifreeze is at the maximum mix. (50/50) I have, and still do, come across frozen cars because the chill factor of driving at speed on a cold day can freeze radiators. First thing you'll know is when the car overheats because water can't circulate.
Check your tyres, not just pressures and condition, but type as well. On another Forum last year, there was a very large number of photos of vehicles which had run off the road because of low profile 'sports' tyres. (I suppose I'd better come clean and explain that it was a collection of pix of 4 x 4s where the drivers 'assumed' their 4 wheel drive vehicles were fit for winter driving.)
Clean all glass thoroughly, as dirt on the glass assists condensation and ice. Also check wipers and fluid.
check your antifreeze most important ,tyres , wipers most people know about these things dont travel in bad conditions if not necessary
I go by the 7 step checklist
1) Get your car serviced (this lowers the risk of any problems in icy weather)
2) Pump up tyres (3mm of tread depth in winter is sensible to avoid skidding)
3) Look after the lights (dark nights and mornings make winter more dangerous so making sure all lights are working is extremely important)
4) Fill up your fuel and oil (you don't want to break down on a freezing winter night!)
5) Make sure you can see (stock up on de-icer, make sure your windscreen blades are clean and that your wiper fluid is full! Never drive with frosty windows)
6) Be prepared (good idea to have an emergency kit in the car - warm clothes, blanket, torch, some food, and even a first aid kit)
7) Drive safely (don't rush, and take your time on icy roads and through fog. If possible stick to routes that have been gritted!)
I got my car serviced recently. I always check oil and water.