Preparing for Winter: Looking After Your Battery and Tyres

Car stationary at a red light behind cars in a raining condition, with a blurry, rainy windscreen

Winter is coming, and while we might be safe from White Walkers and ten years of cold, there are still plenty of dangers on the road. Things like black ice and sluggish batteries fall to the back of our mind because it won’t happen to us, will it? The truth is that we don’t prepare for the cold weather properly, and even more of us have no idea about the effect it can have on our vehicles. It doesn’t have to stay that way, however, and there are some great winter prep tips waiting for you below.

What Kind of Impact Does Winter Have on Car Batteries?

Winter is prime time for you to run into issues with your car battery. In basic terms, the cold slows down the chemical reactions within the battery; leaving it lethargic and more likely to cut out. Car batteries have what is known as a CCA rating, and this determines the amount of current that a battery is able to deliver for 30 seconds at -18C without cutting out. A fully charged battery should be fine in up to -50C, but if your battery has low levels of charge then -1C is enough to freeze the water inside, cut it out, and cause irreparable damage.

What Kind of Impact Does Winter Have on Tyres?

In winter, you need to slow down faster when you brake because the roads are usually quite slippery compared to the summer months. Therefore, if your tyres have worn down over the course of the year, they may not be strong enough to deal with the winter conditions. This is usually because the tread is not deep enough to give you ample stopping distance. The cold weather and extra pressure on your tyres can wear them down faster, and this is why you need to have them checked regularly.

How to Look After Your Battery and Tyres

For your car battery, it is all about learning how to maintain it. After three years of installation, you really need to start paying attention to it. If it sounds slow or jolted when you try and start the car, that is one of the first major warning signs that something is wrong. Of course, you should check things like the connection first, but it is important to know what to look for. Regular maintenance and professional inspection are key to a longer battery life.

For the tyres, it is essential that you have them checked over (and replaced if needed) before the winter months hit. There is a quick and easy way to test if the tread meets the minimum legal requirement. All you need to do is place a 20p coin in the tyre, and if you cannot see the outer band anymore, that means you are within the legal limits and do not necessarily need your tyres changed.

Poor tread leads to slow stopping times in wet conditions, and this is something that could be the difference between an escape and an accident on the road. Check them yourself once a month, and get them checked and replaced as soon as you need to or if you feel concerned.

How We Can Help

Throughout every season, we are here to lend a hand; especially in winter. In fact, we have some fantastic services that will provide you with the safety and confidence you need to get on the road without worry as the cold weather draws in:

  • Winter safety check. This is our 12-point check where we ensure that your vehicle is ready to face the winter weather and carry you safely over the course of the next few months. It’s both extensive and reliable.
  • Battery replacement. If your car battery needs replacement, we are happy to help you out. We offer a fast and professional service to ensure that everything is hooked up correctly and in working order.
  • Tyre sales. Fully equipped with a range of tyres, we can help you get on the road with improved grip, as well as assurances that you are safer than ever.

Hopefully, this has helped you to understand more about being safe in the winter, as well as the ways we can help to prepare you. It doesn’t take much; just make sure you’re ready to take it on.