Winter can be hard on all vehicle types. The cold weather can bring up a whole series of issues. Most commonly; faulty batteries and electrics to accidents related to tyres with too little tread.

Here are a few tips from Highview Garage to avoid unnecessary vehicle breakdowns over the winter season:

Check your battery

Cold temperatures are no friend to batteries because they slow the chemical reaction inside it. Though batteries can function under many hard conditions, cold weather tends to degrade high-quality batteries and often leaves subpar and uncared for batteries useless.

Various ways to protect a battery from such failures:

1. If you tend to only use your car for short journeys, we suggest you find time to charge the battery once a week during cold spells, and more if you can find the time – especially advisable if your battery is over three years old.

2. Be sure to switch off all electrics at the end of a journey before you leave the car; lights, heater, radio, windscreen wipers, hazard lights and dashcams.

3. Check for signs of corrosion on your battery cables and clamps, which limit the flow of the electric current. If you see any corrosion then don’t delay, clean this well using a wire brush while the engine is switched off! If you prefer for an expert to diagnose and clean then drop by our reception.

4. If you have the luxury of a garage then we suggest you park your car there rather than leaving it on your driveway or on the street – protect the battery from the very lowest temperatures.

5. Unfortunately, older batteries can still die or struggle despite taking the above measures, so if you’ve noticed that battery isn’t holding a charge well, it may be time to get a new one. We can recommend the best options within your budget. Just call 020 8361 8888.

Check your tyres

1. By law, tyres are required to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, but as experts with 33 years of servicing all vehicle types, we recommend that you get them replaced when they wear down to 3mm, especially if this coincides with cold weather conditions; snow, ice or heavy rain. Driving with plenty of tread allows the car the necessary traction and grip, in turn helping you control your vehicle in such conditions.

2. Pay regular attention for general signs of damage; cracks, nails, splits and especially bulges. If you notice any of these problems, get your tyres checked out by an expert. Don’t hesitate! If it is necessary to change it we recommend you do this without delay.

3. In addition to checks for damage, it is also important to keep your tyres inflated to the right pressure set out in your car manual or on the tyre itself. This will increase the car’s handling and minimise the risk of a blowout. Something you always want to avoid any season but none more so than the winter.


Keep an eye on coolant levels
Although your car’s coolant system is sealed and may not need to be topped up, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to check! We highly recommend this before any long journey and more regularly during the winter months. Make sure you check the levels when the engine is cold, referring to your handbook to make sure you’re using the recommended coolant, if you do need to top it up.

Seasonal Servicing

If your vehicle is due a service, be sure to get it booked in before the cold conditions start. Making sure that your chosen garage provides winter-specific servicing options.

Taking these steps will help you to avoid a winter breakdown, extend your vehicle’s life but most importantly keep you and your family safe on the road.

Useful items to have in your boot; ice scraper, torch, portable phone charger, high-visibility jacket, first aid kit, jump start cables and reflective warning signs.