The Christmas adverts have begun, the shopping centres are filled with decorations and you’ve probably had to scrape the first ice off your car!

Meaning winter has arrived so this week we are revealing some tips and advice in line with the AA on how to prepare your car from the effects of winter.

If you find this article helpful or if you have any questions then please tweet us @MotorRange using the hashtag #MRWinterCare.

The AA recommends first of all to make sure your batteries and electrics are taken care of. A battery rarely lasts longer than 5 years and preempting your battery replacement before it falls flat at the side of the road can save a lot of time and inconvenience.

Turning down your heater when it is not needed and being wise when it comes to using your car's electrics can go a long way to preserving your electrical system.

So tip one: Get your battery checked and if you know it is on its last legs, don’t be afraid to change it.

A big problem that can occur in the winter months is the freezing of certain parts of your engine, not only making it time consuming but also very dangerous. Even though having a steady level of antifreeze in your car is beneficial all year round, it is a necessity throughout the winter.

Tip two: Make sure your car has a constant supply of antifreeze as this could save your car this winter. For more advice on antifreeze, click here!

With snow falling, fog forming and raindrops dropping it is vital for your safety to make sure your vision is not impaired. Winter brings with it some of the most hazardous road conditions, you’ll see throughout the year. So make sure you have plenty of windscreen wash, working headlights / brake lights and working wipers to be as safe as you can on the road.

Also try not to forget about your side windows, before taking off wipe them clear and ensure you have no blind spots.

Tip three: Be safe! It may take up a bit of time but making sure all your windows are clear before setting off is always worthwhile!

Tyres! Normally we would suggest that your tyre tread should be at minimum 1.6mm however due to the driving conditions winter can bring, your tyre tread should ideally be at least 3mm, no less than 2mm. Reducing tyre pressure will not give you more grip on the roads, if anything it will reduce your stability!

Tip four: Your tyres are important, so keeping them at their safest pressure can only help when it comes to the roads in winter.

Finally, the worst thing you can do through these winter months is rush! Allow yourself some time before each journey to check everything is working as it should and apply some of the tips above. Check the route ahead and take precaution where necessary.

Finally, tip five: You can never be too careful!

Lastly, some advice on how to drive in snow and ice (as recommended by the AA).  

  • Be sure to wear comfortable shoes when driving.
  • When pulling away from a junction try and pull away in second gear, by easing your foot off the clutch gently to avoid wheel-spin.
  • When driving up-hill, avoid having to stop part way up by waiting until it is clear of other cars or by leaving plenty of room between your car and the car in front. Keep a constant speed, choosing the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change down on the hill.
  • Driving down-hill can be tricky so try to reduce your speed before the hill, use a low gear and try to avoid using the brakes. Leave as much room as possible between you and the car in front.
  • If you have to use brakes then apply them gently. Release the brakes and de-clutch if the car skids.
  • If you drive an automatic on motorways, it's best to select 'Drive' and let the gearbox do the work. However in slippery, snowy conditions it's best to select '2', which limits the gear changes and also makes you less reliant on the brakes. Some autos have a 'Winter' mode which locks out first gear to reduce the risk of wheel spin. Check the handbook.

We hope you have enjoyed this week's post and have found it helpful in your preparations for winter.

Follow us on Twitter @MotorRange for more helpful driving tips and advice.

Until next time!

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