Mr Clutch says: “It’s time to prepare your vehicle for winter”

Man on his knees with arms raised screaming in frustration while their car has broken-down behind in a snowy condition

With the autumn equinox behind us, writes Iain Robertson, the time has come to dig out the winter footwear and all-weather jacket but, it is also time to think about your vehicle in readiness for shorter days, longer nights and lower temperatures.

Benefiting from a generally mild climate throughout the year, we always hope that the ‘Beast from the East’ will not strike again this winter. Yet, it is positive to exercise an old Boy Scout premise of ‘Be Prepared’, just in case it does. Planning for the worst eventualities is always preferable to not planning at all.

One of the priorities for your vehicle is to ensure that all of the aspects that can be affected by a drop in temperatures, such as battery condition, engine coolant levels, rubber hoses and antifreeze screen-wash are checked thoroughly and levels topped-up accordingly. At Mr Clutch Autocentres, we provide a useful and comprehensive Winter Safety Check. Your vehicle works hard during the summer months and this check-up ensures that it can be ready for typical winter changes in condition.

It may be a good idea to change any car mats to rubber replacements, as they are better at keeping wet dirt, fallen leaves and slush in one easily washable place, rather than wearing away the car’s carpets. Do not forget to replenish your stock of de-icing sprays, for when the wipers are frozen to the windscreen, or when the washer nozzles are blocked with ice. It is always useful to have a plastic ice-scraper and even a soft brush available to clear all screens of snow and ice.

Sometimes, vehicle users experience demisting problems in their cars. Use the ‘Defrost’ setting, which directs warmed air to the interior screens. Of course, on vehicles equipped with air conditioning, the screens can be demisted, or defrosted even quicker. You see, air conditioning can be used throughout the year and not just in the summer months. Its in-built air filtering system helps to remove moisture that creates the problem in the first place. If the system is not working efficiently, it may benefit from an air-conditioning recharge and your Mr Clutch Autocentre can carry it out for you cost-effectively.

It is that time of the year, when I place my ‘winter box’ in the boot. It is a plastic container with space for my gloves, a spare pair of heavy socks, boots, red warning triangle, folding shovel and a winter jacket. I call it my ‘just-in-case’ box, just in case I spot somebody else experiencing roadside difficulties, or I encounter them personally, because you simply never know when you will need the items.

The most important aspect to remember is to plan for worse conditions in the hope that they never occur. In addition, should you drive abroad during the winter period, it is worth checking that your vehicle is equipped with the correct items to be road legal. Finally, just because the roads may look clear does not mean that ice is not lingering below overhanging trees, or where the low sun has not warmed-up the surface.

Winter is coming and we want you to be as safe as possible but to be certain that your vehicle is ready for winter, do not put it off and book a Winter Safety Check today.