The colder weather can have a serious affect on car health, adding strains which create faults then can increase your chances of breaking down. Ensure you've got appropriate breakdown cover at all times and consider taking out a car warranty to help keep those hefty repair bills down.
Here's our top tips to prepare for a breakdown this winter.
Car Breakdown Kit: Ice Scraper and De Icer
You won't be able to drive if your windscreen is iced over so it's important to carry both an ice scraper and de-icer in your car at all times. In the event of a breakdown, your windscreen can ice over by the time your vehicle fixed and ready to drive again so you'll need to clear the screen again.
Car Breakdown Kit: Torch and Spare Batteries
There's always a risk that you can breakdown at night on a road with no streetlights. Carrying a torch means you'll be aware of your surroundings, can alert other drivers of your location and look inside your bonnet for the cause of the breakdown.
Car Breakdown Kit: Car Phone Charger
Being able to call your breakdown company is vital, but if your phone battery is dead then this will be impossible. Make sure you're carrying an in-car phone charger or portable charger so you can keep your phone topped up.
If you find yourself with a dead phone battery, it's worth flagging down a passer-by and asking to use their mobile.
Car Breakdown Kit: High-Visibility Jacket
Being seen by other motorists in the dark is essential so having a high-vis jacket or other high-vis clothing will do a gerat deal for your safety and the safety of others.
Car Breakdown Kit: Warm Clothes and Blankets
In colder weather it's always useful to carry a spare blanked or coat in your vehicle, in case you find yourself waiting long periods of time without any heating. If you aren't travelling alone then it's best to tell your passengers to bring spare clothes too.
Car Breakdown Kit: Food and Drink
If the conditions are bad when you breakdown, you could be stuck for a while before help arrives. Make sure you carry food which will keep you sustained, especially if you are travelling with children. We recommend a big flask of something warm to keep you going, you can always drink it when you get to your destination.
Car Breakdown Kit: Boots With Good Grip
If you need to exit your vehicle in wintry conditions it's important that you have suitable shoes to be able to walk around your car with. Boots that have good underfoot grip, but if you'd like extra safety then you can buy slip on snow shoes that go over your ordinary shoes and give you extra grip.
Car Breakdown Kit: Empty Fuel Can
One of the causes of a breakdown is simply due to running out of fuel. If you find yourself far away from the closest petrol station attempt to ask a passerby if they will drive you to the nearest one.
Car Breakdown Kit: Two Reflective Warning Signs
Across many European nations a reflective triangle is a legal requirement. The reason you need two is so that you can position one at the front of your car and one at the back. The one at the back should be at least 45 metres or 147 feet behind the car. However you must never use it whilst on the motorway!
Car Breakdown Kit: Jump Start Cables
Dead or flat batteries are 51% more likely to occur in cold weather, but they can happen at any time, so jump start cables are essential to have. Just by having them a passing motorist can get you back on the road.
If you've got a fitC car warranty you'll be kept up-to-date on your car battery health through our smartphone app or follow our car battery maintenance guide.
Car Breakdown Kit: First Aid Kit
You should have a first aid kit all year round but during winter it is essential to be able to treat any minor injuries that might come from slipping on ice. Your first aid kit should include sterlie cleansing wipes, washproof plasters in assorted sizes, dressings, scissors, nitrile powder-free gloves and a Revive-Aid resuscitation face shield or something similar.
Car Breakdown Kit: Sunglasses
Driving towards low sun in the winter months can be extremely dangerous, so it's important to carry sunglasses with you so htey can improve your vision. If not you could be at risk of causing an accident.
Car Breakdown Kit: A Road Map
If your breakdown is due to a flat battery you might not want to plug in any electrical devices as that could trigger a flat battery once again. Carrying a map means you'll still be able to plan your route and complete your journey.
You can still find these in Halfords or on Amazon.
Car Breakdown Kit: Shovel
If there has been particularly deep snow, you live in the middle of nowhere or no roads have been gritted then you'll need a shovel to move the snow from underneath your wheels. If you have a relatively small car, you can purchase foldable shovels for when boot space is limited.
Halfords or Amazon is the place to find one of these especially if you want a foldable one.