Keeping your vehicle in good condition must be done all year round. But with breakdowns increasing by 20% over the colder months, it’s worth taking a little more care when checking your vehicle. Now winter is starting to creep in, don’t let the cold weather hold you up. We’ve put together our top tips to keep you on the road.
1. Check your tyres
Issues with tyres are one of the most common causes of accidents and breakdowns and can be easily avoided by regularly checking the tyre traction and pressure. We all know the minimum legal limit for tread is 1.6mm, but in winter you should be aiming for 3mm to give your vehicle better grip. As temperatures plummet, keeping an eye of your vehicle’s tyre pressure should be top of your priority list. With our handy tyre pressure gauge, you can check before you set off or even when you’re on the road.
2. Carry a winter emergency kit
It may sound extreme, but if you ever find yourself stranded, it’ll come in handy. An emergency kit usually holds all the essentials, including a spare blanket, de-icer, snacks and whatever else you think you may need. So our ADR kit holds a great set of must-haves, including a shovel, protective gloves, a high-visibility vest and more that will help keep you safe whatever the situation.
3. Make sure you’re visible to other drivers
As it gets darker, visibility is an issue that you will have to deal with. It becomes an even bigger priority than normal, and your first check should always be that your lights, indicators and windscreen wipers are clean and working normally. Don’t forget to add a higher concentrate of screenwash to keep your windscreen clear free from dirt and ice. You can even add extra safety prompts to protect yourself and other drivers with our mirrors sticker. And if your vehicle breaks down, making sure you’re visible to other road users is easy with our hazardous triangle.
4. Check the battery
It’s no surprise that winter usually exposes any faults with your vehicle’s battery, so now is the time to check if it’s in good condition. You can get it tested at a garage and replaced before it causes your vehicle to breakdown. As suggested by the RAC, you can maintain your battery by charging it weekly during the winter months, check that there are no interior lights left on, avoid using heaters and park your vehicle in a garage.
5. Check your vehicle top to bottom
Most of your vehicle checks are ones you would do all year, but in winter, it becomes a bit more urgent. Stock up on our VMRB, keeping you up to date with scheduled maintenance and easy tallying of your vehicle’s servicing total expense. A daily walkaround inspection is also a legal requirement for most vehicles and should be part of a driver’s pre-journey general maintenance. If you don’t keep up with your vehicle checks, you could land a hefty fine of up to £5000.
6. Get your vehicle serviced
It seems like an obvious one, but it can be easy to miss. Having your vehicle serviced regularly can pick up little problems that don't escalate into bigger ones. Most garages offer free winter checks, so it’s worth taking advantage of if you want a safety check before you hit the road.
7. Store a first aid kit in your vehicle
It’s every driver’s dread but accidents do happen! So whether you’re in your cab, the trailer or assisting another driver be prepared with our first aid kitMotorists First Aid Kit - MFAK. It includes nearly 30 items and is ideal for if the worst does happen when you’re on the on-the-go.
8. Leave extra time for your journey
Before you even get into your vehicle, bear in mind, your journey will likely take longer, especially if weather conditions are difficult or visibility is poor. You should always give yourself extra time to check your vehicle. Make sure you’ve got enough fuel; your windscreen is clear, and your dashboard is free from warning lights.
Get ahead of your vehicle maintenance this winter with these simple tips to keep you safe and on the road. Browse our range of winter essentials available to order today!