5 Top Tips to Avoid a Winter Breakdown
- 10 Dec 2021
We can all agree that Winter has well and truly arrived in the UK. With the temperature dropping and snow appearing in most parts of the country, your car is more likely than ever to have a mechanical or electrical failure.
According to the AA’s research between December 2018 to February 2019, the top reasons their mechanics were called out were:
- Battery-related (24%)
- Tyres (16%)
- Intake and emissions (8%)
- Starter and alternator faults (6%)
- Locks and alarms (5%)
But why do cars break down more over winter?
There are two main reasons why your car will not start in the cold weather, and both are related to the battery:
- Your battery is more likely to lose charge and go flat in the cold weather.
- During the festive period, your car is more likely to be sat on the driveway without being driven.
Car batteries charge while you drive, so if you don’t drive for a few days over the holidays the battery will lose its charge. This is also more likely to happen when the weather is cold.
The cold temperatures can also cause other problems such as your antifreeze. If your antifreeze levels aren’t right, you could have a problem with frozen screen wash or engine coolant. Plus, your vehicle may not start in the cold weather if you haven’t used the right viscosity of engine oil.
How to avoid a breakdown this Winter
- The most important thing to keep an eye on is your battery. Make sure to take your car out for regular runs to keep the battery charged.
- Clear snow off ASAP. Leaving snow on your vehicle makes it a lot harder to shift.
- Wait to open your windows. Opening your windows as soon as you set off could cause mechanical failure as they may be frozen in the frames.
- Check the tread of your tyres. You must have a minimum of 3mm tread. On average there are 36% more flat tyre changes in Winter.
- If you do end up breaking down or having to stop unexpectedly, make sure you have all the items you need to ensure you’re comfortable and safe. Check out our Winter Checklist 2021 for some inspiration!
Make sure your car stays safe, check out our extended car warranty policies here!