Diamond

6 essential tips to get your car ready for winter

There’s no better time to make sure your car is in peak condition than during the winter months – roadside breakdowns in freezing conditions aren’t fun!

Although keeping your car well maintained is important at all times, in the miserable winter months when weather is especially unpredictable it’s essential to your on-road safety.

To avoid your car failing to make the journey home this festive season, carry out these six checks before heading off:

1. Battery power – a flat battery is often the reason for breakdown services to be called out. Unsurprisingly a flat battery can put a dampener on your day, so if your car struggles when you try to turn the engine on you may need to charge the battery. Keep jump leads in your boot just in case

2. Safe stopping – faulty brakes could be disastrous which means checking them regularly is incredibly important. If anything seems out of the ordinary – if the brake warning light on the dash comes on, the car pulls to one side or you hear a high-pitched sound when you press on the brakes – book your car into a garage ASAP

3. Tyre troubles – although a new set of tyres could be expensive, skidding due to the existing set being bald or being pulled over by the police would really spoil your day. Diamond’s Claims Engineers team says to check tyres for uneven wear and ensure the tread is above 1.6mm. A 20p coin will act as a good guide, place it between the tread, if the outer edge is hidden then you’re above the legal limit, if you can see the outer edge your tyres could be under the legal limit

4. Keep cool – your car’s coolant levels must be between the minimum and maximum markers on the gauge and be sure to have the right amount of anti-freeze in the coolant to avoid damage from a frozen engine

5. Screen queens – keep your screen wash topped up at this time of year to avoid streaky windscreens. A marked windscreen combined with low winter sun is a dangerous pairing. Make sure you buy good quality screen wash with the lowest possible freezing point to avoid a chilly morning panic

6. Bright lights – dark mornings and evenings can leave you feeling pretty miserable and can also make driving feel that little bit more difficult. Keeping your lights in good working order is essential. Call in a friend and test headlights, tail lights, sidelights, indicators, brake lights, registration plate lights, fog lights and hazard lights

If you have any other top tips to prepare your car for bad weather just tweet @DiamondForGirls and let us know.

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