The Manual - How to winter-proof your car

Don't get excited. It's still January and there's more rubbish weather to come. In anticipation of the next cold snap we spoke to Vanessa Guyll - technical specialist for the AA - about winter proofing cars. Invaluable.

Invest in an intelligent battery charger
These switch off when the battery is fully charged. Car batteries all used to be lead antimony, whereas now they have silver calcium inside. These are more powerful and last better, but they need plenty of long runs to charge properly. This is especially rare for London motorists, and a big problem in winter because people use heaters and screen-clearers – which are even more energy intensive in luxury cars.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Fit winter tyres
Ordinary tyres often have fairly straight channels in the tread. These are ideal for shifting water, but aren’t very good for grip on snow-covered roads. Rear-wheel-drive cars, as most BMWs are, suffer more traction problems on snow unless there’s a lot of load in the boot - they won’t grip the road well in winter.

Check the coolant level
Modern anti-freeze lasts for around five years before it needs changing, but it is vital (all year round, in fact) as it also contains corrosion inhibitors and prevents rust and sludge build up in the cooling system. The system is sealed, so if the coolant level drops have it checked.

Most Popular

Change the wiper blades
For some reason, people only ever change these when they start making a noise, but look closely at how the rubber bar sits on the screen – if they don’t make a clean sweep without any twisting movement, they’re not doing their job properly.

Remove any damp items
If you leave wet coats and stuff behind, this makes the car damp and the glass is likely to mist up on the inside. The air conditioning system removes moisture from the air, so use the hot setting to dry out the car, but don’t use it for longer than necessary as air conditioning is driven by the engine and increases fuel consumption.

What do you think?

Mascots film
Culture
Share
Watch An Exclusive Clip From Netflix's Hilarious New Film About A Mascot Competition
The comedy packs serious lols​​
Blackberry Phone
Culture
Share
Blackberry Is Shutting Down Its Phone Business
​R.I.P ​​QWERTY
Kanye West
Culture
Share
Kanye Encourages Audience To Shout "F**k Taylor Swift"
Whilst performing in her hometown
Culture
Share
Why Everyone Is Taking Sides On This Controversial New Playboy Photo Shoot
It's more complicated than you think
Culture
Share
This Glorious Mexican Beer Ad Trolled The S**t Out Of Donald Trump
Oh, and it aired during the first presidential debate
Culture
Share
Benedict Cumberbatch Sang Onstage With Pink Floyd's David Gilmour
The pair sang 'Comfortably Numb'
Mark Walhberg
Culture
Share
Mark Wahlberg Talks Success, Fatherhood And Burgers
A quick chat with the Deepwater Horizon actor​
Apple HQ Battersea
Culture
Share
Apple Is Setting Up A HQ In One Of London's Most Iconic Buildings
Welcome to Battersea, America​
Film
Share
Disney Is Remaking The Lion King Because Nothing Left In This World Is Sacred
Jon Favreau: step away from our childhoods​
Justin Vernon
Culture
Share
Album Review: 22, A Million By Bon Iver
​Bon Iver's new album has a spring in its step​