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Preparing Your Car For The Winter Weather

Winter is a critical time, a point where your car will need most care. Due to heavy snow, winds and icy roads driving can become dangerous and the percentage of accidents can increase.

At One Call Insurance we always want our customers to feel safe so it's a good idea to prepare your car for the winter season. It can be a good idea to get your vehicle serviced before winter, but if that's not possible, here are some things you can easily do yourself.

Tyre Tread

Check your tyres regularly for any bad cracks, splits or foreign objects.

Also check the tyre tread depth is at a safe level, most tyres have tread wear marker (a ridge within the tread) if the tyre is level with this it's probably best to change. Use a tread gauge for a more accurate measurement. The minimum is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre and the entire outer circumference, but 3mm is recommended.

If a tread gauge is unavailable to you, then you can always use the old trick of a 20 pence piece. Place the coin within the tread and if the border of the 20 pence is still visible then your tread could be below legal standard.

Tread

Tyre Pressure

Also regularly check your tyre pressure. If you're unsure what the tyre pressure should be, it's usually located on the driver’s side door post.

A digital tyre pressure gauge is a great tool and can be bought from as little as £10.

Try to make a habit of checking your spare tyre is properly inflated as well.

Pressure

Oil

Check your oil level regularly. Make sure the engine is off and the car has had plenty of time to cool down and is on level ground. Pull out the dipstick, wipe it and replace. Pull it out and check the level is between the minimum and maximum markers. If it is low then top it up gradually, checking a few times, as it's important you don’t overfill.

Checking Car Oil

Coolant

Check where this lies between minimum and maximum levels indicated on the container, and top it up if necessary.

Fill with water to the halfway mark, and then top up with antifreeze.

Brake Fluid

Checking your brake fluid reservoir is also a good idea. If it looks low, top it off with the right type of brake fluid for your car (check your owners manual or ask when buying). As your brakes wear over time, it's perfectly normal for brake fluid to go down a little.

If you notice a larger decrease in the level it could be an indication you have a leak or another issue with the braking system, so it's best to get it checked out at a garage.

Windscreen Wipers

Wiper blades should be replaced once year. Luckily, replacing wiper blades is very easy and doesn’t require any tools. Don't forget your rear wiper blade too if you have one.

Ensure your windscreen washer liquid is topped up regularly. In winter it's also a good idea to add antifreeze.

Car Windscreen Wipers

Car Battery

Electrical and ignition problems can stem from loose, corroded or dirty battery connections.

If your connections look dirty or corroded, clean with an appropriate brush, ensuring both connection terminals are clean, then reconnect everything securely.

Fitting a new car battery

Headlight Bulbs

Obviously it's important you can see where you're going, especially at night when visibility is low.

Replacement bulbs are cheap and easy to replace. Headlight bulbs will cost a little more, but you can usually replace them easily enough on your own and save on garage costs.

If you notice a larger decrease in the level it could be an indication you have a leak or another issue with the braking system, so it's best to get it checked out at a garage.

Headlight Bulbs

Emergency Kit For Your Car

This is a simple idea but can reduce a lot on problems in the long run. By having an emergency kit to hand, it will mean your better prepared for those times in need.

Emergency Car Kit (For a potential Breakdown on long journeys)

  • First Aid Kit
  • Car phone charger adapter
  • UK Map
  • Warm Clothing
  • Blankets
  • Boots
  • Prescribed Medication
  • Food
  • Flasks containing e.g. Coffee, Tea or Soup
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Batteries
  • Torch

And most importantly our 24hour breakdown helpline number 08444 998247.

Emergency Kit For Your Car

Car Snow Socks

AutoSock snow socks are a quick and easy solution for driving on icy and snowy roads in the winter. With snow socks you will potentially never get stuck in the snow again. They are designed with

  • Amazing traction on snow and ice
  • Safe and TUV approved
  • Quick and easy to fit and remove
  • Reusable and easy to store

AutoSock snow socks were also awarded a Which? Best Buy 2012. We also think their top notch.

Which? logo

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One Call Insurance Services Limited - Registered Office: First Point, Balby Carr Bank, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN4 5JQ.

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for general insurance business.

Registered in England Company Number: 4693136.
FCA Reg: 302961.

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