Breakdowns happen more often in winter because icy conditions wreak havoc on our roads, while freezing temperatures literally freezes up parts of our vehicles. Although none of us can predict how severe this coming winter will be, we can prepare ourselves and our cars to ensure we cope better in the event of a breakdown.
Preparing your vehicle
A breakdown cover
A breakdown cover with a reputable provider is money well spent. Otherwise, you will end up stranded on the side of the road with no help coming your way. In the thick of winter, this really won’t be pleasant.
Replace your car if it’s too old
Has your car seen better days? It’s an obvious point, but if you are driving around an old and unreliable vehicle, then it won’t stand a chance when the severe weather arrives. You can scrap your car with BMS salvage and they will pay you for your old car and even take it away for free. With a bit of cash up your sleeve, you will be in a better position to buy something a bit newer and safer.
Top up the Anti-freeze
According to the AA, one of the most common reasons for a winter breakdown is a frozen engine. So give yourself a chance to get from A to B by making sure your anti-freeze is sufficiently topped up.
Door locks and door seals
Another common problem encountered by motorists driving in winter is frozen door locks and/or seals. Before setting off on your journey, spray some WD40 into the locks and smear some Vaseline along the door seals.
Don’t rely solely on your mobile phone
You won’t always have mobile phone signal, so don’t count on your phone for everything. Bring some coins in case you need to call for help in the event of a breakdown, and bring a map so you can articulate where you are.
Carry some provisions
You don’t know how long it will take for any help to arrive, so carry some food and warm clothes to ensure your wellbeing while you wait. This is especially important if you are travelling with children – make sure everyone in the car has extra sets of clothes, warm blankets and lots of high energy foods.
Have some sturdy shoes
One targeted towards the ladies, you will really struggle to walk to the emergency phone booth in your high heels. So, make sure you have something flat and warm for your feet in the car.
Once you are the road
Pull over to a safe spot as soon as you can. Make sure you are not positioning your car in the way of any debris flying around.
Make your car visible
Switch on your hazard lights and even sidelights if visibility is poor. You want to give other vehicles a chance to spot your broken down car way before they get near it.
Call for help
Never try to fix problems yourself as this can be dangerous when you are on the side of the road. Instead, call for professional help immediately. If you have pulled over to a safe spot, then stay in the car to wait for help. If you have broken down on the motorway, you can stay safe by waiting behind the crash barrier away from traffic.