Preparing for winter might save money but will also enhance safety

Car with it's bonnet open while windscreen fluid is being poured in

None of us can deny that summer 2018 has been memorable for mostly the right reasons, writes Iain Robertson, although seasonal changes being what they are, we now need to look forward to darker commutes and more slippery road surfaces.

A certain inevitability surrounds seasonal change. Every year, meteorological scientists and the TV weather presenters, forewarn us about record snowfalls and plummeting temperatures. However, there are some seasonal aspects worth contemplation.

Most really hot British summers tend to be followed by severely cold winters. Whether you believe the forecasters, or not, planning for adverse conditions is still practical advice. A good place to start is by making a visit to your local Mr Clutch Autocentre, for a pre-winter check, or even a full service. (

If your car is equipped with air-con, the chances are it will have been overworked this summer. An air-con regas will ensure that you can reduce the visibility risks associated with misted-up windows. Equally, if you have used your car on your summer holidays, perhaps even towing the family caravan, it may benefit from an oil and filter change in readiness for chillier weather conditions. While your car is at a Mr Clutch Autocentre, it might be advisable to check that its radiator is full of coolant and its screen-wash bottle is topped-up with antifreeze fluid and both items are covered by a Mr Clutch Autocentres winter safety check. (

If you are aware of low-temperature, or winter-type, tyres, we are approaching the time at which they ought to replace your car’s summer tyres. Being of a more flexible tread pattern and rubber compound, they provide superior grip and shorter emergency stopping distances on cold, wet road surfaces and work better than summer tyres on icy, or snow-covered roads; their tread depth is measured in the winter safety check. (

Having greater visibility, when it is dark outside and especially if the roads are wet, or slushy, is an important safety consideration. Ensuring that the wipers, both on the windscreen and (if fitted) on the rear window, are working efficiently and clearing the glass without leaving streaks is vital. Mr Clutch Autocentres will help you in respect of worn wiper-blade replacement, while your car is being serviced or checked. (

However, while safeguarding against the glare from oncoming headlights is a clear benefit of safer vision, so too are having all of the car’s lights working legally and properly. Once again, a service carried out at a Mr Clutch Autocentre will check all of the car’s lamps, to ensure that the rear-guard foglamps, indicators, repeater lights and headlights are all working as they should, after all, you do rely on good illumination, whether driving around town, or out in the countryside, when it is dark. Being seen is as important as seeing clearly. (

Finally, I always place my ‘Winter Box’ in the car’s boot around this time of the year. It contains a warm jacket, a pair of gloves and a flashlight. However, I am aware of some car owners, who also pack a snow-shovel, a blanket and an extra pair of warm socks, because vehicle breakdowns, even on a well-serviced car, are seldom planned and are certainly never welcomed.

Just remember that Mr Clutch Autocentres want to keep you mobile, as well as safe and secure during the shorter days and longer nights of the winter season. Just as you will change into warmer clothing and wear grippier shoes at this time of the year, your car will also benefit from some careful seasonal preparations. Visit to book your car service today!