Is Your Car Winter Ready?

Car on winter road

As the nights draw in and the weather takes a turn for the worse, it is time to start thinking about more than just what to buy your loved ones for Christmas and what resolutions you’re going to be breaking this year.

During the winter your car has to deal with many more challenges than it does in the warmer months, and so there are certain things you need to be checking before the bad weather really kicks in. Read on as the experts at Elite Direct take you through four essential checks.


It is vital that you have the appropriate oil level in your engine at all times of the year – but it is particularly important during cold weather.

However, not only is it important that you ensure you have the right amount, your choice of oil is also key. Engine oil that is too thin will not provide sufficient protection to the engine, while if it is too thick it may keep your vehicle starting on a cold morning as it stops your starter motor from spinning fast enough. Refer to your vehicle’s manufacturer handbook to ensure that you choose the correct oil viscosity.


The legal minimum depth of tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm all year round – however during the winter it is advisable to have significantly more than the minimum legal requirement. The AA recommends 3mm, but certainly no less than 2mm.

Stopping distances increase greatly during the winter due to more water on the roads and the potential for snow and ice, so it is imperative for the safety of you and the passengers that the tyres are in top condition.

It is a legal requirement for you to replace any tyres that do not have a tread depth of 1.6mm, while you should give serious consideration to any tyres that fall between 1.6mm-1.9mm.

Screen wash

This may sound like a minor issue, but if windscreen dirt is obscuring your vision then you are going to be putting your safety at risk. It is also important to note that your windscreen is much more liable to become dirty at this time of year due to more water on the roads. The grit that is spread when there are icy road conditions will also be a cause of your windscreen becoming dirtier than usual.

This is one of the most simple maintenance jobs you’d ever need to do, so there is no excuse for not filling it up.

Wiper Blades

Just as you need screen wash to keep your windscreen clean you also need effective wiper blades. If they fail to clear the glass properly or make a squealing noise as they move then it is time to replace them.

A pair of wiper blades will only set you back about £20, and they are relatively simple to fit yourself, so don’t neglect this straightforward fix.

This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Elite Direct. Their experienced and professional mechanics can carry out MOTs, servicing and repairs.

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