What to do for your car when winter hits

We’re in the middle of winter now, but frankly, it feels like winter has only just begun as it’s been so mild. Certainly the rain in Northampton over the past week has been epic, so we thought we’d better warn all your Northamptonshire drivers out there that the time has come to take some precautions.

Visibility can be severely hampered by extreme weather conditions and driving at night. Driving in poor weather can significantly add to the risk of having an accident. Unfortunately, burrowing away and not leaving the house for the entire winter is not really an option as most of us have jobs to go to and lives to live. So, if you have to take to the road, there are a few things we recommend you do in order to reduce the possibility of having an accident.

Top tips for driving:

  • Slow down – it’s not a race and who cares if you’re late as long as you’re alive.
  • Use your headlights – this is a no brainer for night driving but you can also use them in the day.Safe distance – don’t forget everything you learnt about stopping distances. In wet weather you need even more distance between your car and the vehicle in front. 
  • Snow tracks – take advantage of tracks which have already been made by other vehicles when driving in snow.
  • Puddle avoidance – don’t go driving fast into puddles as you don’t want to run the risk of water getting into something it shouldn’t.


As well as taking care on the road there’s also some maintenance you can carry out, which ensures your car is as safe and as roadworthy in the winter months as it can be.

  • Windscreen wipers – they are working overtime at the moment in Northampton so try and check their condition on a weekly basis.
  • Washer fluid – make sure you have a supply of it in the boot of your car because if you run out and the weather is bad you won’t be able to see out of the windscreen.
  • Wheel watch – tyres are the first point of contact to the road and are extremely important. The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre. Get yours checked.
  • Light check – don’t rely on your dashboard to tell you if a light is out. Turn all your lights on and get out of your car on a regular basis to check everything is working as it should.
  • Emergency car kit – it’s worth keeping a few blankets, cereal bars and water in the boot of your car just in case you don’t break down. You never know how long you’ll be kept waiting for help, so bets to be prepared.

If you need any advice or would like to book your car in for a car service, contact Automotive Engineering.