Is Your Vehicle ‘Wheely’ Ready for Winter?

Roads policing officers are reminding motorists to prepare their vehicles for the winter months and to reduce the risk of a breakdown by carrying out maintenance checks.

These checks include:

• Check the coolant level regularly and top up where required.
• Car batteries need to be checked. Older car batteries may need to be replaced if necessary in case of failure.
• It’s best to keep fuel topped up to more than a quarter of a tank.
• Visibility is very important so keep lights clean and carry spare bulbs.
• Police advise that tyres should have at least 3mm of tread and tyre pressures should be checked every fortnight.
• Keep windscreens clean inside and out to reduce dazzle and replace any worn wiper blades.
• Use a mix of 50% screen wash with water to avoid the chance of freezing.
• Stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline or rubber door seals. A squirt of water dispersant in locks will help stop them freezing.

Sergeant Harry Simpson from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “It’s really important to be prepared for the winter months and try to be prepared should your vehicle break down. Maintaining a vehicle is essential to keep it running efficiently.”

Alongside this, it’s important to be prepared in the event of a vehicle breaking down by keeping a winter emergency kit in the boot with essentials like a blanket or sleeping bag, a shovel, an ice-scraper or de-icer, a torch with batteries, food or snacks and extra screen wash.

Other essentials include an in-car phone charger or spare phone, sunglasses, personal medication, a first aid kit, a road atlas or satellite navigation system or printed route for unfamiliar journeys and a membership card for any breakdown organisations that you may be a member of.
“Having essentials in the vehicle such as food and a blanket could potentially be life-saving should the unexpected happen, particularly if a vehicle breaks down in a secluded area when there is bad weather,” Sergeant Simpson continued.

People are also being reminded not to leave their vehicles unattended whilst de-icing in frosty weather. Across Cleveland every year there are dozens of instances where opportunist thieves have been stolen whilst de-icing. This could leave insurance invalid and leave owners with a hefty bill.

Motorists interested in purchasing a winter vehicle check can contact their local garage.