The festive season is a busy time, Christmas shopping, getting together with the family and not forgetting all the work that goes into the Christmas dinner! But have you spared a thought for your car and made sure it is Winter-ready and prepared for any severe weather conditions.
If you’re planning on visiting your family over Christmas then you must complete your vehicle checks before you get on your way. You must have a look at your tyres, check the tread is above the legal limit and make sure there are no cuts or bulges. Before you go, top up your windscreen wash, the roads are particularly dirty this time of year so you will find you’re going to have to top it up more than usual. Topped up windscreen wash is no use if your windscreen wipers are split, so get those replaced so they can keep your windscreen clear whatever the weather!
What To Keep In Your Car
Although it is a very unlikely situation, you should prepare for being stranded either due to a car breakdown or the weather preventing you from completing your journey. Here are the items we think you should keep in your car:
• Warm clothes - A coat and a pair of wellies or boots will serve you well if you get stuck at the roadside in the rain or snow.
• A torch - Just in case you get stuck on a dark road or need to take a look under your car bonnet in the dark, a head torch would be best so you have both hands free!
• An OS road map - You can’t always rely on your sat nav, especially if floods or snow cause road closures. Keep a map in your car as a plan B.
• Snacks - If you’re sat at the roadside waiting for a recovery truck to arrive you may find yourself a little peckish. Keep some biscuits or other snacks in the car for emergencies.
• Extra fluids - Keep some extra coolant and windscreen wash in the boot so you can top up on the go.
Driving In The Rain
With predictions of storms over the Christmas period it is important to know how to drive in the rain. Here are our top tips:
• Don’t drive through standing water if you aren't sure of the depth, flooded roads can cause irreparable damage to your car if you drive through it.
• Increase the distance with the car in front of you as stopping distances increase when the road is wet.
• Use dipped headlights so other drivers can see you, but don't use your fog lights as this will dazzle other motorists on the road.
• Most importantly, don’t risk it, if you aren't sure on the depth of the water, or condition of the road then find an alternative route. If you are advised not to travel, then stay at home!