One of the most important things you can do before you set out on a journey this winter is to thoroughly check your vehicle before you set off and make sure you have the following items in your car.
The RAC attends more call-outs for flat batteries in the winter than for any other problem.
It is recommended that you check your battery at least once a week and charge it if required.
Ensure that coolant is between the minimum and maximum markers. It is also important that there is sufficient anti-freeze in the coolant during winter.
If you're uncertain, have a look at your handbook or get a local garage to check the strength. Anti-freeze is cheap but damage from a frozen engine can be very expensive to put right.
Watch the RAC explain how to check your engine coolant.
Check the condition of your tyres to make sure if the tyre thread is deep enough.
Look for damage such as splits or bulges and check the pressure.
If you live in an area particularly at risk of snow consider buying winter tyres or snow socks which give your vehicle greater traction and control.
Find out how to check your tyre tread with the RAC's handy video.
Make sure you have enough screenwash and that the concentration is suitable for cold conditions during the winter. Not all screenwash is the same so look for the temperature it protects down to.
You should be looking for protection down to -35c at dilution one part screenwash to one part water.
Watch the RAC winter driving video on how to check your screenwash.
Check wiper blades for damage and replace if necessary. When wiper blades become frozen to glass in the winter it is very easy to damage them when freeing them up.
Having breakdown cover is invaluable if you break down in bad winter weather. With MORE TH>N car insurance you can add breakdown services provided by the RAC when you buy a policy. Take your breakdown telephone help-line number and mobile phone with you on all journeys.
Before setting off its worth spending some time planning your route and checking to see if there are any problems with it.
It might sound obvious, but if the weather becomes treacherous, you should only start out on a journey if it really necessary. A good place to start is the Met Office website.
Originally posted on 12/01/2013.