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Winter safety checks on your vehicle

Winter is on the way! During the colder seasons, vehicles are faced with harsh weather conditions that can cause malfunction problems if ignored.

According to, every year Highways England traffic officers deal with more than 85,000 breakdowns on the roads they patrol.

Take extra caution on the road with regular winter safety checks:

Windscreen and windows

If you really want to get ahead of winter, it may be an idea to have a de-icer solution and ice scraper. Before setting off on your journey, clear the windscreen, windows and wing mirrors. Another way to improve visibility of the road is to turn on the heating and demister controls to clear any remaining ice. Don’t forget to check your windscreen wipers incase of any wet weather conditions.


As the temperatures drop, road surfaces can become wet and icy. It’s not only important to drive carefully but it is also beneficial to check your tyre pressure, tread depth and for any cuts and bulges. Measurements for tyre pressure can be found in your vehicle handbook. The legal tyre tread depth should be at least 1.6mm around the circumference of the tyre. If you don’t have a tread depth gauge, a handy trick to check tyre tread depth is to use a 20p coin, by inserting into the groove of the tyre. If the outer rim of the coin is visible, the tyre tread depth is below the legal limit and you will need a replacement.


Before you begin your journey, there are few routine checks you can perform on the brakes. Drive forward slightly and stop the vehicle with your foot brake to identify any problems. Ask someone to look at your brake lights to ensure they are activated when braking.

Vehicle lights

As evenings become darker and grey clouds appear, it is important that other road users can see you. Headlights, brake lights, indicators and fog lights should all be checked. The quickest way to check your indicators is to switch on the hazard warning light and ask someone to look at the front and rear of your vehicle. Check your fog lights are working as thick foggy mornings and nights are creeping up.

Coolant and Engine oil top up

Whilst deicing your vehicle may the first initial thing to carry out, don’t forget to check your coolant tank and engine oil levels. When coolant and engine oil levels become low, take action by topping up. Antifreeze and engine oil will prevent the engine from seizing up and the risk of breakdowns.

If you don’t feel comfortable carrying out these winter safety checks, book your vehicle in for a winter health check at a local garage.