Winter is finally here, and now is the time to pay extra attention to your vehicle’s maintenance.

Whether you’re heading away on a skiing holiday or just driving down to your local supermarket, having your vehicle properly maintained so you can get to your destination safely should be your number one priority.

Here are five ways to get your car ready for the winter months:

1. Windscreen

Impaired vision significantly increases the risk of having a car crash. A combination of cold, wet conditions and greasy windscreens (which are usually caused by people rubbing a fogged up screen clear with their bare hands) can cause smearing over the windscreen in certain light conditions. Make sure you clean your screen and all interior glass properly with an automotive glass cleaner.

If your wiper blades are worn and leaving streaks all over your windscreen, then you’ll need to get a new set of wipers. It’s also helpful to add detergent to your windscreen washer reservoir, but make sure to leave some room so you can top it up with warm water if it freezes overnight.

2. Maintenance

Breaking down on a cold winter’s night isn’t a pleasant experience, so getting a pre-winter vehicle service can save you a breakdown headache.

Your car’s engine endures far colder temperatures during winter and in turn experiences increased wear. Fluids have the ability to freeze in sub-zero temperatures so radiator anti-freeze concentration will need to be up to scratch. To help reduce the risk of your tyres losing traction on the road, check that your tread is at least 1.5mm deep and that you have correct and equal pressure in all your tyres.

3. Battery

During winter, your battery tends to be pushed to its limit, which can cause it to fail earlier than expected. If you have any doubts at all about your battery’s performance, we recommend getting it tested and replaced if necessary.

It’s also worth keeping a set of good quality, protected jumper cables in case of a breakdown. This could get you or someone else that’s not as prepared as you, out of a sticky situation.

4. Headlights and tail lights

The days are shorter at this time of year, so it’s essential to regularly walk around your car to check all of its lights are working and clean. Fully functioning lights not only help your own visibility while driving, but they also ensure that other drivers are able to see you.

It’s also a good idea to check both indicators by turning your hazard lights on.

5. Winter emergency kit

In case of an emergency or a breakdown, keep a supply kit in the boot containing a blanket, spare warm clothes, a torch (with batteries), a first aid kit, a high-visibility jacket, as well as some spare food and water.

Some of these items can be purchased from the AA Shop.

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