Don’t let winter stop you in your tracks

The last thing any driver needs is a vehicle breaking down in the cold winter months. These days, the weather is unpredictable, one day can bring high winds and rain, the next a mix of ice and snow but one thing’s for sure, it’s always cold. So it’s well worth taking time to make sure your car is fully prepared for whatever the winter weather may bring.

Even if you avoid setting off in dangerous weather conditions, you can still get caught out, so be prepared by ensuring your vehicle is well maintained with regular servicing and checks.

Here’s a few tips to ensure you stay safe on the roads this winter.

  • Regularly check tyres to ensure they’re in good condition and have a tread depth of at least 3mm to be safe in wet conditions - this includes the spare tyre in the boot.
  • During the winter, tyre pressure should be checked weekly.
  • Have the battery and charging system checked for optimum performance. Cold weather is hard on batteries. If your car battery is old (more than five years) or there is signs of it struggling to start the car, get it checked and replaced if needed.
  • Check to see that exterior and interior lights work and headlights are properly angled.
  • Keep the fuel tank at least half full at all times, in-case of emergencies.
  • Clean, flush and put new antifreeze in the cooling system. As a general rule, this should be done every four years. Make sure there is sufficient anti-freeze in your radiator and windscreen washer bottle.
  • Make sure heaters, defrosters and wipers work properly. Consider winter wiper blades and use cold weather washer fluid. As a general rule, wiper blades should be replaced every six months.
  • Be diligent about changing the oil and filter at recommended intervals. Dirty oil can spell trouble in winter. Consider changing to “winter weight” oil if you live in a cold climate. Have your technician check the fuel, air and transmission filters at the same time.
  • Have the brakes checked. The braking system is the vehicle’s most important safety item.
  • Have the exhaust system checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be especially dangerous during cold weather driving when windows are closed.
  • Keep an ice-scraper and de-icer in your vehicle at all times in winter.
  • Pack a winter driving kit in case of emergency. This might include: a torch; a blanket and warm clothes; food and drink; first-aid kit; spade; warning triangle; and high-visibility vest.
  • Always take a well-charged phone in case of emergencies, but don't be tempted to use it when driving.

Check forecasts and plan your route carefully. In bad weather, major roads are more likely to be cleared and gritted. Allow plenty of time for potential hold-ups. The Met Office provide up to date forecasts, and issues warnings when severe weather is likely.

An investment of an hour or two to have your vehicle checked is all it takes to have peace of mind and help avoid the cost and hassle of a breakdown during bad weather.

So don’t let winter stop you in your tracks, book your winter check at Read Motor Group in Grimsby, Lincoln or Kings Lynn and our technicians will carry out a 19-point check on your vehicle and test parts susceptible to the rigours of Winter, and complete a battery health check. The winter check includes *front wiper blade replacement or a complimentary winter essentials pack*.

*Wiper blade replacement only available at Read Hyundai Grimsby and read Suzuki , complimentary winter essentials packs available at Read Hyundai Lincoln and Read Hyundai Kings Lynn*.