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Make sure you are ready for winter!

20 November 2016 Blog

With the Met Office predicting a severe winter - the worst since 2010 - Motorpoint blogger and respected motoring journalist Ken Gibson offers some timely advice to avoid getting stranded by the below average temperatures over the next three months.

“The weathermen seem convinced we are in for a bad winter so get preparing now!”

The Met Office is predicting a severe winter - the worst since 2010 - with below average temperatures during the next three months. Which means breakdowns and mayhem for drivers and cars that are not prepared.

To give you an idea of how much chaos a bad winter can cause the AA alone dealt with 28,000 breakdowns in just one day on December 20th, 2010, the last really cold winter.

Even in a normal winter November through till the end of February guarantees more breakdowns than in the whole of the rest of the year. The biggest cause of breakdowns is flat batteries, accounting for nearly half of all call-outs - so get your battery checked as a number one priority, followed by minor accidents caused by bad road conditions and often bad driving.

Tyres are a key factor in staying safe in the winter so make sure you check the tyre pressure every two weeks. Frozen engines are also a very real threat in a bad winter if you don’t have the right anti-freeze at the right level. Simple things like frozen wipers and screen washers can also be avoided by simply checking your wipers and replacing them if necessary, along with topping up your screen wash with winter anti-freeze. Another winter nightmare is frozen locks but you can tackle this with a spray of WD40 in the locks. Also make sure your headlights and tail-lights are always clean, so you can see and be seen on dark winter nights.

They say prevention is always the best cure so prepare yourself for the worst winter can throw at you by following a series of simple tips, the first of which is to make sure that your car has a winter check and is well-maintained. Always have at least a quarter of a tank of fuel as you can get delayed for hours in winter traffic. Make sure your mobile is fully charged, carry a blanket or sleeping bag, and a shovel, along with de-icer and an ice scraper. And don't forget to make sure you have warm clothing, snacks, a flask with a hot drink and extra screen wash. 

Do not try and cut corners by putting of a service or replacing worn tyres and wipers, trust me you’ll end up paying either a big bill or risk being in an accident. The weathermen seem convinced we are in for a bad winter so get preparing now!

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About the author

Ken Gibson was Motoring Editor for The Sun for 23 years during which time he became one of the best known motoring newspaper journalists in the world. Over that period Ken tested thousands of cars from super minis to SUVs and super cars, and drove millions of miles all over the world.

As well as writing a blog covering the motoring issues of the day, he also independently road tests and creates video reviews on a cross section of cars sold by Motorpoint.