Published: 14:02, 12 November 2021
| Updated: 14:03, 12 November 2021
The UK is reportedly bracing itself for a cold snap with snow and freezing temperatures forecast.
Weather watchers are keeping a close eye on the second half of November with warnings that our recent mild spell is about to take quite a turn.
The Met Office warns that a 'rather cold' start to next week will be experienced by most areas, before a brief recovery, ahead of another plummet later on in the month. It is also warning of an 'increasing' chance of some wintry conditions which might not just be reserved for those living in the north or on higher ground.
And it seems the cold snap could then be set to continue with below average temperatures expected for the end of the month and into early December as a result of north to northwesterly winds and what the Met Office is calling a 'higher than normal' chance of more wintry conditions.
If autumn's mostly mild weather has lulled you into a false sense of security, alongside digging out the thermals, motoring organisations say now is the time drivers should prepare their vehicles for the wintery conditions ahead.
Here are five winter checks you can carry out on your car before the cold weather bites:
1. Check your windscreen wipers
If you're driving with worn down windscreen blades in wet, snowy or icy conditions then they will struggle with helping to give you a full view of the road.
In the lead-up to the bad weather we’re set to soon be facing, drivers should look for splits or damage to the rubber of their windscreen wipers and replace any showing signs of wear and tear, recommends hire firm Leasing Options.
In colder winters the RAC says it also notices larger number of calls from people whose wipers have stuck fast to their windscreen so if travelling in cold weather free them with caution, and if covering windscreens with a blanket in the coming weeks, be sure to either wrap them too or place some plastic between the blades and the glass to help them not stick.
2. Ensure all lights are working
With dark evenings approaching car lights are more important than ever. Not only so that as a driver you have a full view of the road, but also so other road users can see you in advance too.
Make sure all your car lights are working, including rear lights and fog lights, which you might not have used recently.
The RAC says it is also worth remembering that with more wintery conditions and more debris on the road, car lights becomes extremely dirty very quickly and so they should be regularly cleaned between journeys to ensure they remain visible.
3. Top up your screen wash
Throughout the summer months we tend to use our screen wash a lot less so now is the time to check those levels.
And with freezing temperatures expected it is worth using a screen wash additive - or a pre-mix solution - that is effective in minus temperatures and won't freeze inside your car or the washers.
Using the correct concentrate will ensure it doesn't set inside its tank and that you're able to use it to clear your windscreen when freezing conditions set in.
4. Check your tyres
Make sure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressures because if they're not, anything from your grip on the road to braking distances and steering feel can be affected.
While the legal minimum tread level is 1.6mm the RAC suggests that it is far safer for drivers to have tyres with 3mm of tread in the winter to help with a car's traction and grip.
5. Kit your car out
Now is the time to switch your boot's summer supplies for winter ones. And so if your car has been full of beach kits, camping chairs and waterproofs, it is advisable to begin adding items to be sure you won't get caught out in poor weather.
Ice scrapers and de-icer, blankets and spare warm clothing, high-vis jackets, a torch, a warning triangle and spare car bulbs are among the items that motoring experts at Halfords suggest drivers should carry in a winter driving kit.
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