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    Caring for your car in winter


    It’s that time of year again.

    Winter is just around the corner and car owners across the country are starting to consider how best to make it through the season. Whether you’re preparing to put your classic to bed for the winter, or you’re just thinking about how to prepare your everyday car for the bad weather, we have you covered.

    Road safety week 2022 is taking place from November 14th-20th. This year’s theme is ‘safe roads for all,’ a sentiment that is always important, but particularly so in winter. By taking proper precautions in wintertime and spending a few hours giving your car the once over, you will be helping to keep both yourself and other road users safe.

    With this in mind, we’ve compiled a handy list of things all car owners should check before winter sets in. Plus, we’ve added some common winter car care issues to be aware of for both driven and stored vehicles.

    winter car care
    A car cover can take a lot of the risk out of winter car storage

    Things to check

    Wipers and rubbers.

    Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition as they’re going to be used a lot in the coming months. Replace them if they’re starting to wear out.

    If you’re storing your car, either lift the wipers up away from the windscreen or put newspaper underneath them so they don’t stick to the glass and destroy the rubber.


    As the weather turns, checking the tread on your tyres is vital. An easy way to check your tyre tread depth is the old 20p coin trick, which you probably already know! If your tyres aren’t up to scratch, make sure you get them replaced before you embark on any journeys.

    For storage, your focus should be on maintaining good condition and avoiding seizing. To do this, give your tyres a deep clean and apply anti-seize grease on the threads of the wheel nuts. You can avoid flat-spotting by either jacking the car up so the tyres aren’t in contact with the floor, or by pumping the tyres up an extra 10psi (just don’t forget to drop the pressures when you start driving the car again!)

    Fluid levels

    Make sure you check all your fluid levels and ensure your anti-freeze is topped up at the correct concentration, before it gets too cold outside.

    It is also important to check your engine oil. Winter appropriate motor oils are indicated by a W in their SAE rating – they have a lower viscosity and flow more freely in cold weather, so you can keep moving with a happy engine.

    Continue reading below… 

    Driving in winter

    Battery care

    Cold weather and older cars do not typically mix well, and the last thing that you want is to find yourself with a flat battery. If you’re storing your car and not planning to drive it over the winter, a battery conditioner may be a wise investment to drip-feed power into the system whilst it is not in use.

    The best option is giving your car a longer drive when you can, to give it a fair chance to charge itself up. This is better than lots of small journeys, and it is certainly better than just turning the engine over in the garage which isn’t recommended due to the risk of fumes.


    A dirty car is a deteriorating car. This is especially true in winter when there is often salt on the roads.

    If you go out for a spin, give your car a thorough clean before putting it back to bed, paying particular attention to the underside where salt can linger, causing rust and corrosion.

    Emergency kit

    In the UK, we are famously underprepared for extreme weather on either end of the spectrum. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should be ill-prepared in your car. Rapidly changing weather conditions can find you stuck on the motorway or broken down by the roadside with little to no warning – this is where an emergency kit is very handy and potentially even life-saving.

    A good emergency kit for the winter should include a blanket, some long-life snacks (such as cereal bars), a small can of fuel, jump leads, and some water at a minimum. High-vis vests or jackets and torches are a good idea too. If you’re going abroad, there might be other items you’re legally required to carry,

    Storing your car for the winter


    Before putting your car into storage, ensure the whole car is completely dry. Check everywhere and use a hairdryer or microfibre cloth to stave off any dampness, paying particular attention to seals, trims, surrounds, and in the boot and under the bonnet.

    High levels of humidity in the air can lead to corrosion of untreated, blank metals such as the engine. Furthermore, condensation on surfaces allows moisture to creep into the crevices of your car and its mechanisms. To prevent this, it’s important to take the climate of where your car is stored into account, and the more you can control it, the better. Storing your car in a garage with airflow helps, as does using a dehumidifier.


    Storing your car in a garage is generally the safest option, but don’t assume it’s safe just because it is locked up. Consider blocking out any windows so thieves can’t see inside, and invest in some CCTV (or dummy CCTV cameras) – a  . A working alarm and motion-activated spotlights are good security measures too.

    A lot of security comes down to common sense, so don’t leave any garage keys in sight (or worse, inside the car itself!). Consider a Skytag GPS tracker as a further precaution, to aid in vehicle recovery if you do fall victim to theft.

    Car covers

    Covering up your stored car will help to protect it from the elements and keep everything in the perfect state that you left it in.

    Specialised Covers make custom car covers and provide expert advice on how to best cover your beloved vehicle, plus Heritage customers get 10% off!

    Last but not least, ensure your insurance is up-to-date, and don’t forget we offer SORN insurance if your car is off the road. Make sure you’re storing it somewhere safe and secure and take note of our tips for proper pre-winter TLC. With the right care, you should see the winter through easily, but ensuring you take the right precautions now means you can get back on the road smoothly in the spring.

    We’re happy to answer any questions you may have, so drop us a message below or call 0121 2489229 for a no-obligation chat