Prepare your car for winter
Yes, it’s that time of the year again. In Europe, winter was a little delayed this year due to some fabulously warm autumn days. However, just as you need to start wrapping yourself into scarfs, hats, and thick coats, your four-wheeler also requires a slightly different outfit. After all, your car should be ready when the first winter storm takes place. There are many guides out there with endless to-do-lists. To keep it simple and crisp, in the following, we present to you the three most important precautionary measures necessary to keep you and your vehicle safe during winter.
Don’t wait until the onset of winter for this: change your tyres before December! This way you also get to circumvent long waiting times at your local garage because most people postpone the change to December. Having the right tyres is probably the most important measure you have to take during winter. There’s plenty of evidence on how useless non-winter tyres are even if the road is only slightly iced. Check the tyre tread, too. If the depth is less than four millimetres, the tyres are no good anymore!
According to the German ADAC – Europe’s largest automobile club and breakdown service – this is the number one breakdown reason of vehicles during the winter: an old, half-dead battery. Battery performance is susceptible to frost and cold. If the battery performance leaves much to be desired at temperatures above zero then you must get it checked. Chances are it will fail completely when those temperatures below zero come to a town near you. In such a case it is always better to get a new one.
3) What you should have lying around in your car
Now here’s a list that could go on infinitely but these following objects are potential lifesavers during the winter: first of all, ice scrapers. Usually, a brush to remove the snow and a plastic scraper to get the ice off the windscreen are enough. Additionally, you should have a light shovel on board. In some areas the snow can fall so heavily and rapidly that you need to dig your car out. Another indispensible (liquid) tool is the door de-icer. Keep that one inside your coat’s pocket rather than inside the car where it won’t be of much use. If you’ve forgotten to buy one, remember that alcohol melts ice. So should you have a hand sanitizer lying around then that will work, too.
Preparing is caring – about yourself
Most accidents occur during the cold season, that’s a fact. In the morning when people are still sleepy and roads are dark and slippery accidents can happen easily. A winter-ready car and some simple tools are absolutely essential. Getting stuck on the road during the winter can be a nightmare scenario if you aren’t prepared. Thinking ahead is probably the key, for example, keeping a warm blanket in the car’s boot will come in handy when you’re car has broken down. Other than that winter – for some the most romantic season – should be enjoyed to the fullest. Safe driving!