Five ways to make your car ready for winter

Five ways to make your car ready for winter

The cold months of winter can play havoc with your car. Here are five checks to do now so you don’t get caught in a storm

By Ernie Richardson

We all know the hazards of winter driving: ice and rain, sleet and snow, fog and floods. And as much as they can make it hard to get from A to B, most of us don’t have the choice of avoiding journeys and staying tucked up warm at home.

    ...if conditions are really treacherous thanks to snow, ice, fog or flooding, only travel if you absolutely have to.  

So it is wise to make sure your car is ready for the rigours of winter motoring. Follow our five steps and you’ll be able to confront bad weather conditions head-on, secure in the knowledge that your car is set up for the challenge of the coolest time of year.

Remember, though: if conditions are really treacherous thanks to snow, ice, fog or flooding, only travel if you absolutely have to. Pregnant wife or girlfriend at 8cm dilated? Fine, get going. A pint of milk and a Mars Bar from the Esso? Probably worth waiting until the weather clears.

1. Top up screenwash, and keep a spare bottle in the boot

We’ve all been there. Careering along the motorway on a chilly winter’s morning. Salt spray squirting around us, leaving white streaks across our windscreen and making it even harder to see the road ahead.

Then we squeeze the windscreen washers and nothing happens. Zilch. Nada. Not even a trickle. Which means we’re condemned to ever-declining visibility until we can find a petrol station or services at which to pay over the odds for some screen wash.

To avoid such a fate, keep your washer reservoir topped up every few days, and keep a bottle of pre-mixed wash in your boot. You can buy a five-litre bottle of screen wash online for less than three quid. That way, if and when you do run out, you’ll just need to find a safe place to pull over and fill up.

2. Have a winter battery check

Few winter breakdowns are more irritating than a flat battery. It can leave you stranded for hours while you await the breakdown truck. Then within a few minutes of arriving, they jump-start the engine and you’re back on your way, feeling silly for such a trivial failure.

But it needn’t be like this. Take your car to a garage or motor factor for a winter battery check. They’ll plug it in and check charging levels, cranking and charge retention.

If it seems weak, you can buy a replacement, thereby obviating the risk of a flat battery and ensuring you won’t spend a chilly winter’s evening stranded in a car park.

3. Check your tyres

It is well worth checking your tyre tread depth before the winter weather sets in. The legal minimum depth is 1.6mm, but experts like the RAC suggest 3mm is a healthy lower limit. Stopping distances increase dramatically below this depth, especially on wet or icy roads.

You can check your tyres yourself, using a ruler or depth gauge (prices from around £2 online). The depth needs to be consistent across the middle three-quarters of the tyre. If there’s uneven wear, it could point to a tracking fault, impairing handling and putting you at greater risk of an accident.

If in doubt, head to your local tyre specialist and get them to check for you. Better to be safe than sorry, especially at this time of year.

    Enlist the help of a friend or colleague to walk around your car with you behind the steering wheel, turning lights on and off...  

4. Check light bulbs

Car light bulbs have a twofold function: they help you see and be seen. And given that most commuters travel to and from work in the dark during winter, it’s important to make sure yours are all working.

Enlist the help of a friend or colleague to walk around your car with you behind the steering wheel, turning lights on and off so they can check everything’s illuminating as it should. Check sidelights, headlights on dipped and full beam, taillights, brake lights, fog lights (front and rear), indicators and reversing lights.

If any bulbs are blown, replace them immediately. Remember – you can get a fixed penalty notice with a fine of up to £200 for a faulty brake light.

More important than that, though, you’ll be putting yourself and other motorists at risk. Which makes a few moments of inconvenience while you check and replace any faulty bulbs well worth the effort.

5. Check fluid levels

Oil, brake fluid, coolant. All of these can have a detrimental impact on a car’s smooth running if they’re not topped up. So grab your car’s handbook and check your levels.

It’s a good opportunity to work out what’s going on beneath your motor’s bonnet, making it more likely you can remedy any faults in future. It will also ensure optimum efficiency and reliability once the winter weather sets in.

If you’re really not confident checking your car over, take it to a garage. Many perform free winter safety checks while you wait, meaning you can rely on expert advice about your car’s suitability for winter driving.

 

© Copyright Just Recruitment Group Ltd 2020

Published: 12 December 2020

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: It's the way you tell it that counts!

You may also enjoy: Why go organic?

Jobs currently available

New job
Warehouse Operative
Sector: Sales
Salary: £20,500 per annum
Location: Maldon surrounding area
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910936
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based near Maldon.

Please note due to location you will need to drive.

Duties include:

  • Preparation, picking and packing of orders for delivery in the UK and global export.
  • Correctly packaging and labelling goods prior to despatch.
  • Assist in maintaining a clean and well-organised warehouse.
  • Manual handling of goods will be required.
  • You must have the following attributes and skills:
  • Experienced in a similar role.
  • A desire to work in a focused environment towards deadlines.
  • Flexibility; the ability to adapt to varied tasks.
  • Good communication skills.
  • Punctual and reliable.

Forklift licence required; ideally both Bendi and Counterbalance licences.

Hours of employment:

  • Monday – Friday.
  • 08:30 - 17:00 (7.5 hour day with 1 hour lunch break).
  • 28 paid holiday/year (includes Public Holidays).
Read more
New job
Legal Conveyancing Secretary
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: £12.00 - £15.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910926
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a temporary Legal Conveyancing Secretary to join a well-established Law Firm based in Sudbury, Suffolk.

We are looking for someone with a calm, compassionate temperament who can work in a fast-paced environment.

The vacancy is in the Conveyancing Department, so experience in this area would be beneficial.

Your duties will include:

  • Keeping records up-to-date and general filing (both paper and electronic documents)
  • Archiving files
  • Typing up legal documents, including transcribing and audio dictation, correspondence, e-mails and other similar documents
  • Answering the phone and making a documented record of calls
  • Organising diaries
  • Making appointments with clients
  • Generating invoices
  • Informing accounts department of any Client changes
  • Covering reception

You will have:

  • Experience working as a Legal Secretary
  • IT skills and knowledge of computer systems, including Microsoft Office, email/diary software
  • An organised approach to managing a full workload, with attention to detail and the ability to produce accurate work to deadlines
  • Able to communicate clearly in both written and oral formats
  • Ability to work in a team, have a flexible approach and build excellent working relationships.
  • Commitment to the firm’s aims and own development

You will receive a competitive salary (flexible, depending on experience) career progression opportunities, Up to 28 days holiday (inc bank holidays)
Please do not hesitate to apply if you believe you are right for this role.

Read more
New job
Sales Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910932
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded and long-standing business based on the outskirts of Colchester. The company is looking to recruit a sales-driven Account Manager - adding to their existing, successful team.

In this dynamic role, you will be generating revenue, growing existing business but also be building new business - working with associated businesses. You will be a fundamental member of the team and will have a crucial role in promoting the organisation and developing new accounts.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • To generate revenue across multiple platforms
  • Speak to and build rapport with new and existing customers
  • Create bespoke proposals to meet clients needs
  • Generate creative ideas to help with brand growth
  • Close and secure proposals with customers
  • Working across business departments to meet customers expectations
  • Maintain and manage CRM system
  • Achieve KPI’s

Skills required:

  • Sales experience
  • Excellent telephone manner
  • Motivated
  • Able to build rapport quickly
  • Great customer service/relation skills
  • Team working abilities
  • Strong time management skills
  • Desire to work in a fast-paced team environment and enjoy the buzz and momentum of what a sales role provides

This is an excellent opportunity to join a great team - offering a competitive salary, company benefits and commission.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Production and Stock Control
Salary: £8.91 - £9.16 per hour
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 1107048
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for Production Operatives on behalf of a company based in Halstead.

This is a temporary ongoing role with the view to going permanent for the right candidate.

This role will include the following duties:

  • Picking and packing
  • Working on the production line
  • Cleaning down production areas and machinery
  • Moving boxes
  • General factory work

Please note – This factory involves the use of nuts on-site.

Paying £8.91 for day shift and afternoon and £9.16 for night shift.

Read more
New job
Warehouse Forklift Driver
Sector: Warehouse
Salary: £9.22 - £9.52 per hour
Location: Braintree
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 909529
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for Warehouse Forklift Drivers for a well-established company based in Braintree, Essex.

You will be working Monday to Friday with early finishes on a Friday to enjoy a long weekend.

Shifts available:

7am -3:30pm with a 2:30pm finish on a Friday.
Or
6.00am -2.00pm with a 1:30pm finish on a Friday.

Paying between £9.22 - £9.52 per hour with the opportunity to work overtime at overtime rates.

You will have a minimum of 1 year of counterbalance experience, with an accredited FLT licence.

Read more