Winter Driving Checklist

Bad weather can strike suddenly, so it's no surprise the number of cars requiring assistance increases over the winter period. 

So to be a step ahead and ensure that winter breakdowns are a rare occurrence, here's a driver's check list: 

Under the bonnet


  • In cold weather antifreeze is essential for protecting your car against frost damage. It is important correct strength antifreeze and water mix is used as neat antifreeze can turn to sludge when very cold. A 50/50 mix of anti-freeze and water is recommended.

Oil and Water

  • Check oil and water levels regularly, referring to manufacturer's manual.
  • Keep a bottle of water in the car to top up your windscreen washer in an emergency; it is an offence to drive with an empty windscreen washer.



  • Check all lights are in working order. Replace burned out bulbs and remember to clean road grime from all lenses when washing the car.
  • Check your front and rear fog lights too; remember these should only be used when visibility is reduced to around 100 metres and switched off when visibility improves.
  • You can check brake lights unaided by seeing if they illuminate a wall or garage door.
  • Test your horn.
  • Number plates should also be clearly visible from the front and rear.


  • Examine tyres for signs of uneven wearing and for any cuts or small nicks in the sides of the tyres.
  • Check tyre pressures and the tread depth - a minimum of 1.6mm over at least three-quarters of the tread width is the current legal requirement, but they should be replaced long before that.


  • This is definitely the time of year to get your brakes checked by a professional.


  • Check that both front and rear wiper blades are not worn or damaged. If they are leaving smears across your windscreen, it's time for new blades.
  • Split, cracked or perished wiper blades will lead to an MOT test failure and put you and others in danger.
  • Clean the windows, inside and out, and wipe the lamp lenses and door mirrors.
  • Keep a can of de-icer and a scraper in the car. De-icer can also be used to defrost doors and petrol filter locks.



  • Have you remembered to put your emergency breakdown card in your purse, wallet, or handbag? Is the number stored in your mobile phone?
  • Carry a few things just in case. Gloves, a blanket, a small shovel, a torch and some cash are essential.
  • Consider carrying a mobile phone with you. Remember to make sure your phone is fully charged and has sufficient credit before you set off. Bear in mind that the law has banned using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving.
Last Modified: 05/12/2018
For more information contact:

Highway Networks

Tel: 01495 766747

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