Last Updated on November 6, 2021 by Stewart

There are quite a few things that you’ll need to do to make sure your car is ready for the winter. These are all important, so regardless of their position on this list, they all need to be considered.

Get your car serviced

If your car is due a service in the run up to the winter, the mechanics will pick up on any points that need to be addressed in the near future. Having said that, if it’s been over 6 months since your service, things may have changed with it. In that case, consider the following extra options below.

Check your battery and tyres

On some batteries, they have a visual indicator on them to let you know if there is an adequate charge in them.  Don’t worry if that isn’t the case, though. A lot of garage chains such as Halfords offer a free battery check to make sure yours is tip top for when the cold months come.

With respect to your tyres, it’s really important that you’ve got enough tread on them to see you through the winter. There are a variety of tread depth gauges available, and they’re all relatively inexpensive. Not only is it unsafe to drive with severely worn tyres, it’s also illegal and the fines involved are extortionate. Also be sure to check for any cuts or bulges in the sidewall for the tyres as this will impact the strength of the tyres, and your safety overall.

Check your lights are working

This two minute check can be a real life saver. Simply turn on all the lights on your car and take a walk around it. You’ll soon see if any of them are blown, or not as bright as they used to be. Depending on the manufacturer of your car, it might be easier to take the car to a garage to get the lightbulbs swapped out.

Invest in a tyre inflator

One of the biggest reasons for call outs with breakdown companies is due to tyre mishaps. You’d be surprised how many people don’t routinely check their tyre pressures. Over time, air will escape from them and when a lot escapes, it results in the overall structure of the tyre becoming weaker. Instead, opt for an automatic tyre inflater and you’ll be able to inflate your tyres extremely quickly. There are a few available options for tyre inflators on the market, foot powered and electrical inflators.  I actually have one of each. For the electric inflator, my choice is one that can run off of a battery, as well as being able to run it off the car battery if need be. These really are great, inexpensive items to have.

Air Hawk PRO – The Compact, Portable, Digital, Cordless, Rechargeable Air Compressor, Tyre Inflator, LED Light, Automatic Pump + Bonus Carry Case (As seen on High Street TV)
  • Air Hawk PRO comes with a 15cm air hose and three nozzle fittings; a threaded tip for tyres, a narrow pin for balls and a wide pin for other inflatables like air beds or pool toys.

Last update on 2024-05-19 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Check your screenwash

It’s crucial at all times of the year that you have enough screen wash to clean your windscreen properly. In this winter, this is even more true. There are two main kinds of screen wash, pre mixed, and concentrated. Personally, I prefer the pre-mixed versions of the screen wash since they’re a lot easier to use.

When picking out a screen wash, go for one that goes down to -10°C. This will prevent frozen lines in the unfortunate event that the temperature drops that low. I’ve seen some instances of really cheap screenwash causing damage to the washer lines on cars. Generally speaking though, purchasing from a reputable brand such as Prestone means you shouldn’t run into any issues.

Prestone Screenwash, Ready To Use Screen Wash For Cars - Winter, High Performance Cleaning With Streak Free Formula, Maximum Visibility Winter Windscreen Washer Fluid, Removes Stubborn Dirt, 5L Bottle
  • SCREENWASH READY TO USE: Introducing Prestone Screenwash Winter, a high-performance screen wash that helps you to achieve perfect visibility in all driving conditions - it’ll make light work of whatever the weather sends your way.

Last update on 2024-05-19 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Check your wiper blades

Do your wiper blades start to streak and squeak when you use them? It’s time to replace them. Thankfully on the majority of cars, this is extremely easy to do and the instructions can be found in your owners manual. New blades are relatively inexpensive and are a real life saver in the winter months. I personally opt for blades from Bosch and have done so for the last 8 years. The quality of the blades are excellent and I’ve never had any issues with the installation of them. In addition to this, make sure your interior glass remains steam/fog free. Rain-X make a product for this to help reduce the amount of steam building up in your car windows. Click here to ready more about it.

Add a layer of wax or sealant to your car

Whilst this isn’t necessarily a safety precaution, it’s still important to add wax or sealant to your car. Since the ability to wash it in the colder months is greatly reduced, it means that dirt, debris and road salt and grit can build up on the car. By having a layer of protection on it, it can help prevent new rust and corrosion from attack the car. The same is true for the alloys. Giving them a quick layer of protection will work wonders. For a long lasting wax, I recommend Autoglyms UHD Wax. More information can be found here in my review. If you’re short of time and would prefer to use a spray sealant, then AM Details Hybrid Sealant is a fantastic option. My review of it can be found here.

Have a battery pack in your car

No one wants to break down in the winter (or any time for that matter). However, it can happen at any point. For that reason, I always like to have a spare USB battery pack in my car. It just means that should I run out of charge on my phone, I can plug it into the battery back. Generally speaking, I would recommend that you should go for the largest capacity that you can afford. These are great to have at any time of the year, but especially so in the winter.

Anker Power Bank, 325 Portable Charger (PowerCore Essential 20K) 20000mAh Battery Pack with High-Speed PowerIQ Technology and USB-C (Input Only) for iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, and More
  • Ultra-High Cell Capacity: The massive 20,000mAh cell capacity provides more than 5 charges for iPhone XS, almost 5 full charges for Samsung Galaxy S10, more than 4 charges for iPhone 11, and over 2 and a half charges for iPad mini 5.

Last update on 2024-05-19 As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Carry a breakdown box

I’ve always got a warm blanket in my car. In the winter months, I like to carry a flask with me as well and fill this up before I leave work at night. In addition to this, I also have cereal bars and chocolate in the back of my car, just in case I do break down. That way, all the bases are covered in case I’m stuck for hours in the snow and can’t get any help.