8 winter vehicle checks

A woman looking under the bonnet of her car

Winter is finally here and while it can be exciting for festive enthusiasts the novelty can wear off rather quickly when you have to drive every day. It’s a mission in the mornings to get your car on the road but it’s too cold to walk anywhere (obviously)! However, with a few winter vehicle checks and preparation, it doesn’t have to be a battle in the colder months and you can even enjoy your drives. We’ve put together a checklist that you can print off and keep as the ultimate vehicle preparation guide for winter. (You can thank us later!)


When you’re parked securely and off the road you should switch on the headlights, hazard lights, reverse lights and brake lights. And then you can walk around the car and make sure they’re all working.


This is easy to check, just keep an eye out while you’re driving for any chips or cracks you see in the glass. If you spot one, get it fixed as soon as you can as it can prevent any additional damage. (Some car insurers will do this for free too!

The spare tyre

If you have one, you should check it from time to time to ensure it’s in good condition. You should also know how to change your tyre and have the basic equipment to do so available in your vehicle. And if you don’t have a spare tyre we highly recommend that you get one.

Tyre sidewall

Checking this will indicate what condition your tyre is in – if you spot any cuts or bulges you should get your tyre changed immediately.

The tyre tread depth

This indicates if your car is legally roadworthy with the minimum being 1.6 mm. You can check this using a 20p coin by inserting it into the tyre tread. If the tread is in line with the rim of the coin the tyres meet the legal requirements.

Brake fluid

This is located under your bonnet and is usually in a container. If you give it a gentle shake you should be able to see how much fluid is inside. It should sit between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ markings. If it’s running low get it refilled before you drive.

Engine oil

Also, under the bonnet engine oil is one of the easiest things to locate. All you need to do is remove the dipstick and take off any excess oil on it. After this, you should dip it in and out of the oil and you should be able to see how much oil is left. It should also sit between ‘min’ and ‘max’ markings on the dipstick – if it’s low we suggest refilling it as soon as you can.

Winter essentials

You should have a few additional things in your car during the winter as they can come in handy. These include blankets, warm winter coat, scarf, gloves, hat, shovel, ice scraper, de-icer, a torch (with batteries) and snacks!

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