Big Cars - Winter driving tips and essential equipment

How to prepare your car for the winter

As we all know, driving your car in summer is a breeze, just like many other things during that time of year.

However, in winter, it is an altogether different situation. Not only does one need to make sure that your car performs optimally, but also to ensure the safety of others on the road. 

Do you know what basic steps you can take to ensure that your car performs at the desired levels?

Winter conditions not only test the mechanical levels of your car but also your ability as a driver. So preparing your car for snow and sleet covered roads and freezing temperatures will ensure the safety of you, your family and other road users.

  • Servicing your car regularly especially in winter can be a life saver. Breaking down in freezing temperatures is no fun. Check the hoses, water pumps and spark plug wires especially, as these small items can cause major headaches.
  • A clean battery is a healthy battery. Disconnect your battery at least once in every 3 months to check the cables, clean the clamps and connections and remove any dirt, grease or oxidation. Any of these can weaken the charge to your vehicle and especially in winter, your car needs more juice to start.
  • Check the cooling system. Make sure that the antifreeze will protect your engine in the winter temperatures. Remember that a 50:50 coolant to water mix has a lower freezing point. In addition, refreshing the antifreeze removes any dirt and rust particles as well as protecting the cooling system against rust.
  • Ensure your windscreen wipers are working correctly or even better, use special winter wiper blades, designed especially for winter conditions. Also, when you have used your wipers, ensure they are back at rest position before you switch off the engine - you could burn out the wiper motor if the blades have frozen in the middle of the windscreen.
  • Make sure your fuel tank is close to full as much as possible. Many times in winter conditions you need to leave the engine running to provide added warmth. If you are running on fumes, you may run into drama.
  • Last, but not least - make sure you have some appropriate emergency supplies in your car in case you do get stuck. If you have to go out in bad weather, making sure that you have emergency supplies with you if you get stuck, can save your life. Things like the following:
    • Snowbrush
    • Ice scraper
    • Blanket
    • Extra set of clothes
    • Charged mobile phone
    • Snow chains
    • A shovel

    Being well prepared makes excellent sense and gives you peace of mind, whatever the weather.