Cold-weather car checks

Though spring is on its way and we’re (hopefully) about to see the back of the bad weather, it’s important to still be prepared for cold snaps when it comes to your car – because, in Britain, they can and will happen. 

The Green Flag team has put together a list of cold-weather car checks to make sure that your vehicle is road-ready, whatever the weather.  

Check your tyres

Arguably the most important check is your tyres; the very things that connect your vehicle to the road. You must check tyres regularly, especially during colder weather. 

These changes in conditions can lead to changes in the terrain, with tyres having to regularly contend with transitions between icy and wet surfaces. You should check your tyre tread depth (you can do this with a 20p coin in the tread grooves - if you can't see the raised edge around the coin, the tyre is above 1.6mm and legal) and tyre pressure regularly to ensure that both are road-safe, while winter tyres are also an option when it comes to improving grip and traction. 

Should you need further information, check out our blog post on understanding tyre pressures.

Inspect your essential fluids

In temperamental weather conditions, it’s important to keep on top of your essential fluids too. These fluids comprise of: 

  • Engine oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Transmission fluid
  • Coolant
  • Windscreen washer fluid

Each of these fluids plays an important role in keeping your vehicle running smoothly, so it’s essential that you check them and change them regularly when needs be, making sure to dispose of the old fluids safely. 

Give your battery the once over

Without a working battery, your car quite simply won’t run. Flat batteries are notorious during the darker and colder months when we generally have to use our vehicle’s heaters and lights more often, and if these are left on and forgotten about, it won’t be long until things run flat. 

You should ensure that your battery is secure, free from rust and residue and (of course) charged. 

Don’t forget the lights and electrics 

Last on our list of cold-weather car checks, but by no means least, are your vehicle’s lights and electrics. In the darker and generally colder months, these components are essential to everyday driving and so it’s integral that you inspect them to ensure that everything is in working order.

Your lights not only allow you to see where you’re going, but they also allow you to be seen by other drivers too. Make sure that you take time to walk around the vehicle before a journey, checking that all of your lights are working properly and free of any dirt and grime that might impair visibility. 

A once over of internal electronics is also recommended, after all, you don’t want to set off on the road and realise you’ve got no heat. Check the likes of your heating, indicators and warning lights, while your satellite navigation and parking sensors are also worth a check while you’re there too.

Searching for more motoring information and tyre-related advice? Browse our Green Flag blog posts, and don’t forget your quick and simple tyre search.