Winter care kit
The essential items that deserve a place in your vehicle
The winter weather can have a greater impact on your vehicle than you may realise. Colder temperatures can cause problems with vehicle performance, but with our helpful tips you can make sure you are prepared for a worst-case scenario.
A drop in temperature could mean a breakdown, a collision, or getting stuck in adverse weather conditions. Remember to always expect the unexpected.
We have put together an important list of items that are useful to carry in your ‘winter care kit’, ensuring you have all you need should an issue come to your attention.
Winter weather often means dark mornings and early evening sunsets as well as wet and windy conditions. With this in mind, it may be wise to have spare clothing to change into or a blanket to keep you warm should you get stuck or breakdown.
Averaging around just 10 hours of daylight during the winter months means it gets darker a lot earlier. A torch would be a useful tool should you get stuck whilst travelling when the sun has set and visibility becomes poor.
Technology plays an important factor in communicating when an issue arises whilst on the go. Mobile phones can become the lifeline when contacting either emergency services or family and friends. Keeping a phone charger with you will ensure your battery does not run out before help arrives. If you have a smartphone, it can also be handy in pinpointing your current location if you are unsure where you are.
It is always helpful to have any emergency information or contact details physically written down and placed somewhere safely in your vehicle, just in case an emergency arises and you don’t have a mobile phone on hand.
Food and drink
Vehicle recovery or roadside assistance can sometimes take longer than anticipated. As the winter weather is upon us, there may be a higher volume of call outs therefore it is worth considering having water and snacks for these longer waiting periods. Not only will it cure the hunger whilst waiting, but it will also keep you hydrated ready for when you return to the road, keeping you alert and reducing the risk of an incident.
Ice scraper and de-icer
Frosty and icy mornings leaves vehicles with a pretty overlay of sparkle…but it is important to de-ice screens in a safe manner. Boiling water can cause damage such as cracking, therefore an ice-scraper or de-icers are a much safer and a less harmful way to removing those icy layers.
Jump leads can be useful to carry in your car whatever the weather. You never know when your battery may run flat, but even more so in decreasing temperatures. Carrying jump start cables means passers-by can help, resulting in reduced downtime should you be waiting for assistance.
First aid kit
Every car should carry one of these for safety. You can purchase car specific safety kits that come with additional items such as hi-visibility jackets or breakdown triangles. In the unprecedented event of a collision, the kit may carry vital items that you can use to aid victims until the necessary help arrives. In the darker evenings, a reflective breakdown triangle can alert on-coming traffic that something lies ahead that may cause obstruction to their journey.
Depending on your location, snow can build up rather quickly particularly in high ground areas. It is important to be prepared should your vehicle encounter heavy snow conditions, especially when your vehicle tyres may become lodged deep within snow. A shovel or spade may become useful to getting you back on the roads.
Windscreen wash and anti-freeze are two important fluids to have safely placed in your vehicle. Before you begin your journey, ensure fluids are topped to the correct levels as winter weather can sometimes create a mud-like effect to your screens reducing visibility. Anti-freeze plays a major part, particularly on ensuring components do not freeze over such as the vehicle’ radiators. Without the anti-freeze fluid, this could lead to heft and un-welcomed bills down the line.
Before your set of, it may be worth considering topping up your fuel levels. Winter weather can sometimes bring on traffic delays therefore preventing a breakdown mid-journey will save time, money and reduce worry to the driver in getting to a fuel station safely.