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How To Prepare Your Car For Winter

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Preparing your car for the colder months ahead isn't just a matter of your vehicle's well-being, it's also a matter of both your safety and that of others on the road.
What you'll need: 
Tyres with sufficient tread
Brakepads in good working order
Non-perished windscreen wipers
Antifreeze
Winter windscreen fluid
Ice scraper
Oil lubricant
Wellingtons + Torch
Fully-charged mobile phone
Blanket/Coat
1: 
Check the tread, wear pattern and pressure of your tyres before the onset of winter. A minimum 1.6mm tread depth is required by law and will greatly improve control in wet or snowy conditions. Replace worn or damaged tyres and ensure they are at optimal inflation levels.
2: 
Top up your windscreen solution and add a specific winter de-icer to the windscreen fluid reservoir. This will ensure that the valves don't freeze and become clogged up or damaged by expansion. Check that your windscreen wipers aren't perished. If so, replace them.
3: 
Check that the contacts of your battery aren't oxidised. If there are any signs of oxidisation, have your battery checked by a reputable garage.
4: 
Use a spray lubricant in locks and door seals. Oil lubricant will keep moving parts working efficiently and prevent them freezing over.
5: 
Add antifreeze to your car's radiator. This will stop the water in the radiator freezing and will increase the fluid's boiling point. This is helpful in both summer and winter.
6: 
Resolve any problems with your vehicle before winter starts as breaking down in the cold is unpleasant and potentially dangerous in extreme weather conditions. Check brake wear and the state of your shock absorbers in particular.
7: 
Salt and grit used to de-ice road surfaces can be extremely corrosive on the underside of your vehicle. Rinse the car to remove any salt when the weather is sufficiently mild to prevent the water freezing.
8: 
Consider using synthetic oil in your car's engine as it is better able to handle extremes in temperature.
9: 
Always carry a fully-charged mobile, a pair of wellingtons, a blanket/sleeping bag and some extra clothing during winter in case of a break down.
10: 
Ensure that your breakdown cover is up to date!
Conclusion: 
Taking the time and incurring the limited expense involved in 'winterising' your car can save you a lot of time, hassle and can ultimately help to ensure your safety and that of those around you.
Warnings: 
Be extra vigilant when driving in winter as braking distances increase in wet/snowy conditions.

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