I think everyone has heard Chris Rea’s song, Driving Home for Christmas now. It is my absolute favourite song to hum in the car at this time of the year. It’s not just a song though… It’s something millions of us will be doing over the next week or so – us included. So with that in mind, today I’m sharing some tips on driving safely this Christmas. Do you know what to do to keep yourself and your car safe as the weather turns?
Driving Safely This Christmas
There’s a few bits of essential car maintenance every motorist should do at this time of year. I’m going to go through each one to ensure you’ll be driving safely this Christmas.
Check Your Tyres
Last week, I noticed the car was taking longer than usual to come to a complete stop. Upon inspecting the tyres, I realised both front ones were completely bald and definitely illegal. One of the rear tyres was also dangerously close to being illegal too. I checked my existing tyre size and then fired up my laptop to buy my car tyres online at Jet Wheel Tyres. As we are getting a new car in the new year, I was pleased to see I could opt for budget tyres which were under £56 each, including local fitting. I’d never even considered looking for car tyres online before. It was only when a friend mentioned she had got a great deal earlier this year that I made a mental note to do it next time I needed replacement car tyres.
Top Up The Antifreeze
Once the tyres were replaced and balanced, it was time to check the antifreeze. This is mixed in with the water in your car’s engine. Start by opening your car’s bonnet and locating the car’s water tank. (It’ll look like this).
The liquid inside will have either a pink or blue tint to it. Make sure you buy the same colour antifreeze. (You’ll find it in large supermarkets or petrol stations). Mix it up as per the bottle’s instructions and make sure you don’t overfill the water tank. (There’s a fill line).
Adding antifreeze makes sure your engine won’t freeze. If it does, it’ll be a very expensive job to fix!
While the bonnet is open, top up your screen wash. That goes in the other water tank (with a windscreen wiper picture on it). Mix it up as per the instructions and fill this tank up. If it’s a freezing morning, your screen wash may freeze over, so don’t panic if it’s not working as soon as you set off.
Things To Keep In The Car
You’ll have to make sure you have these in the car. I still have all of mine from previous years, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
Make sure you have a spare tyre or tyre slime in case you get a puncture. (Also make sure you know how to change your tyre or have breakdown cover). I wrote about my tyre changing experiences a while back. Read that post here. Don’t forget, it can work out much cheaper to shop for car tyres online, if you need to replace one!
Ice Scraper and De-Icer
Personally, I don’t use de-icer as it corrodes the rubber seals around windows and then you end up with ice inside the car as well as outside. I just warm the car up 15 minutes ahead of my journey time and then use my trusty ice scraper. Make sure you have one or the other, though – clear windows are essential when driving safely this Christmas.
If you’re unfortunate enough to break down in Winter, it’ll get cold very quickly… Especially if you have to wait at the side of the road for a tow truck. Blankets are 100% necessary. We always put the kids’ coats in the boot too – even if we don’t think we will need them. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure there’s a torch in your car too. If you end up having to change a tyre or climb an embankment, you’ll need it!
I think that’s about everything you need to know about driving safely this Christmas. Other than making sure your mobile phone is charged!