As temperatures drop, vehicle maintenance and winter servicing become more essential. Car breakdown service RAC claims that nearly half of UK motorists surveyed put off servicing their cars or carrying out essential maintenance during 2020. About 48% of drivers have spent less time looking after their vehicle as less car usage and MOT extensions left their mark on the year.

Online car parts distributors compiled top 10 tips for looking after your car this winter season.

  1. Get your service booked in

Regular servicing and maintenance can help prevent costly problems with your vehicle. If your service is due, try to get it done before winter hits – and at the same time, check your MOT is in date.

  1. Check the battery

Top of the list when looking over your vehicle in winter. As temperatures drop, we naturally use the heater and lights more which, in turn, puts extra strain on the battery, plus the cold weather reduces the output. So, checking the battery.

  1. Check tyre conditions

You need to regularly check your tyres for general wear and tear, cracks, splits and tread depth. The easiest way to monitor the tread of your tyres is with the 20p test. Simply take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves of the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, then your tyres are above the legal limit. But if you can see the band on the coin, your tyres could be unsafe and will need to be seen by a mechanic. The legal limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm but to be extra safe in winter, it should be 3mm.

  1. Check the lights

Lights are essential when driving in the dark, so make sure you give them a once-over to see if they – and your indicators – are working, and are free from dirt, grime and snow.

  1. Stock up your breakdown kit

Things to include are a torch, blanket, shovel, de-icer, scraper and a hi-vis jacket. You may also want to think about food and drink supplies – and a phone charger.

  1. Check your fuel level

Have you got enough to get you to your destination and back? Vehicles tend to use more fuel during the winter, so don’t risk breaking down and be left out in the cold.

  1. Wash your windscreen & wipers

Give your windscreen a good clean, inside and out, and check for chips. They may be small, but if chips aren’t dealt with straightaway, they can grow and crack in colder temperatures. And make sure you top up your screen wash and anti-freeze – and check the wipers – to ensure the blades are still in good condition and free of any tears.

  1. Mix your coolant with anti-freeze

Your engine coolant should be a half and half mix of water and anti-freeze. This becomes diluted over time, so it is very important that you top this up with anti-freeze during winter. If you don’t, the engine can overheat, and you’ll be faced with an expensive repair bill.

  1. Plan ahead

Before setting off, make sure you look at the weather and your route. It goes without saying, but if it’s going to snow heavily all day and all night, then you may want to rethink travelling. If the trip is via main roads then they are most likely to be gritted, country lanes and back roads less so. If you can’t find an alternative route, perhaps plan the trip on a day when the weather (and roads) are better.

  1.  Ensure you have the right cover

Give yourself peace of mind and check your insurance policy. Comprehensive breakdown cover is essential this time of year, so make sure you’re covered – and you have a contact number (and fully charged phone) to hand.

(Feature supplied by Parts In Motion which has more than 200,000 OE-quality car parts and accessories in stock from top brands. Visit for more information.