I travel a fair distance to work each day and have to make sure that my car is in superb condition, especially during the winter when I'm driving to and from work in the dark. I've been working with LV= on their #carcareclub campaign to pull together a mini guide which will help you avoid a stressful breakdown.
Get your car serviced
Regular car maintenance, on top of your annual MOT can help prevent car problems. I know how to check my oil, water and tyre pressure but you could also get your car checked by a professional for a little peace of mind and then you can keep on top of it yourself.
Check your car battery
We use our heaters and lights more during the winter months so this will put extra strain on the battery. If you haven't used your car in a while, you may need to recharge the battery. If you need to replace your battery after a breakdown, it may be more expensive so shop around to find one that's good value.
Check your tyres
In the UK we don't have to change tyres in the winter but, as mentioned before, I know how to check my tyre pressure and carry a mini-pump at all times. It's worth checking them every couple of weeks as the drop in temperature can cause the pressure in the tyres to change.
Get under the bonnet
Again, it's always worth having a little crash course from someone who knows what they are doing so that you know how to check your oil and water (there are minimum and maximum levels) and ensure that you have the right mix of anti-freeze in your water.
Check your lights
They all should be clean and in full working order. Check your fog light and full beam, as well as your hazard lights. These could be crucial in a breakdown situation.
Check your brakes
During the winter, your car's ability to stop in a shorter distance can significantly decrease if the roads are wet or icy. Your brakes should be kept in a good condition - if you're unsure, get that friendly professional to give them the once-over.
Check your wiper blades
Are your wiper blades squeaking? This usually emans that they are damaged and need to be replaced. Make sure your wiper blades and windscreen are clean and top up your screenwash (this needs anti-freeze in too!).
Have a winter car kit
Have a look at the picture to see what LV= advised that should be in your winter car kit.
- Hi-vis vest
- Heavy Duty Tow Strap
- Ice Scraper
- Portable Charger
I keep all mine in a little zip-up bag in the boot of the car (it doesn't take up much room at all) along with a first aid kit
Get the right cover
Breakdown cover is very important, especially during the winter months so ensure your policy is up to date and alway carry your membership card and the breakdown company's phone number with you on your journey.
If you are in any doubt about your car, please seek professional advice however I hope these top tips have been useful for you. Let me know in the comments if you have any to add.