As the winter months draw near, it’s important to ensure you’re ready for the cold weather. You may have taken steps to prepare your home by eliminating draughts, but have you thought to winterise your car and driveway?
Prepping your car and driveway for winter is very important to protect your vehicle and the outside areas of your home.
Read on for all the information you need about winterising your car and driveway, including our top tips and all the products you’ll need. From new tyres to wiper blades, we’ve got you covered!
Why Should You Winterise Your Car And Driveway?
From a sluggish battery to a frozen windscreen, winter can cause all kinds of problems for your car. Winterising your car and driveway will prevent you from having to spend unnecessary time and energy coping with tretorous winter conditions every day.
Preparing in advance can also help you to avoid permanent damage to your car. Excessively cold can cause serious engine damage, and a cold engine may become difficult to start. Similarly, if the water inside your vehicle freezes, it can result in major internal damage.
To protect your car and driveway, it’s vital to take precautions before winter arrives.
How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter
If your wiper blades are wobbly, weak or leave your windscreen smeary, change them for newer ones. This will increase visibility- which is vital when driving in winter.
Because they have a much higher tread depth, snow or winter tyres provide far more grip in icy and cold conditions. Consider switching to winter tyres for better traction on every type of road.
The cold can slightly deflate your tyres- it’s estimated that you lose 1-2 pounds per square inch of tyre air for every 5.5°C drop in temperature. Before it gets colder, you should check your tyre pressure and pump your tires up if necessary.
No matter how many precautions you take, getting stranded is always a possibility. To prepare for the worst, it’s a good idea to put together an emergency kit containing all your vehicle’s essentials. These can include jump cables, a tyre inflator, antifreeze, warm blankets and a torch.
Because your cabin air filter is so important for your HVAC system to run effectively, it’s essential to check it. To maintain adequate ventilation in your car, change the filter at regular intervals (as recommended by the manufacturer).
Similarly, check the rubber seals on your car’s doors and windows before winter approaches. Any small gaps in door and window seals will let moisture in, so you should treat them with a rubber care fluid to extend the life of the rubber.
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How To Get Your Car Ready For Winter
When water freezes, it expands- and this means that water can crack stone at freezing temperatures. To prevent ice from causing cracking, simply fill small cracks with a concrete repair gel using a putty knife.
Before the cold sets in or snow falls, be sure to check for slanting or leaning. Any major upheaval of this kind will require a contractor, and it’s a good idea to get on top of the problem before the onset of icy conditions.
If you have a blacktop drive, it will require sealing every 2-3 years. Sealing can’t be done in winter, so it’s a great idea to think ahead and get your driveway up to scratch in the autumn. If you have a concrete driveway, you can ensure it’s sealed using the crack filling method outlined above.
It’s a good idea to always have antifreeze on hand. Inserting it into the coolant reservoir under your bonnet will lower the water’s freezing point significantly and prevent ice-related internal damage.
Covering your car over at night will minimise the ice that’s on your windscreen in the morning. No one wants to spend time every day scraping snow and ice off of the car; invest in a cover instead to save yourself significant time and effort.
Though you can minimise it, you can never fully eliminate ice from collecting on your windscreen. It’s a good idea to have a scraper on hand to deal with ice buildup and ensure good visibility, for those times that a car cover isn’t enough.
Our Top Tips
Here are our top tips for winterising your car and driveway:
– Service your car regularly. The best way to determine any issues with your vehicle is to get it serviced. To prepare fully, make sure to perform a checkup before it gets too cold.
– Keep an eye on your tires. The effectiveness of your tires determines how safely you’re driving, so it’s vital to closely monitor their tread depth and pressure.
– Check your oil. Very low oil levels can cause engine damage and lead to a breakdown, particularly in winter. Before setting off on a journey, ensure your car’s oil level sits somewhere within the minimum and maximum scale on the dipstick.
– Start up your engine earlier. Though experts warn against leaving your car running idly for long stretches of time, starting up the engine just a few minutes before you start driving will allow the interior to warm up and save you from the regular annoyance of waiting.
Provided you bear this advice in mind before driving in winter, you can’t go wrong!
Depending on the measures you take, the price will vary. While new tires will set you back at least £50 each, a vehicle windscreen cover costs significantly less.
To prepare your car for storage, you should wash and wax it and fill the fuel tank up. You should also change the oil and add antifreeze.
Ideally, you should also remove the battery, because cold temperatures can damage a car's battery. Keep it in optimal shape by connecting it up to a smart battery charger.
Adding coolant in winter lowers the freezing point of your car's interior and reduces the risk of freeze up, which can crack parts of your cooling system. To ensure that the cold weather doesn't wreak havoc on your car, you should use antifreeze every winter.