Then it's time for this!
Don't do it when there's a foot of snow, do it now!
- Check your antifreeze. Testers can be purchased from Amazon
- Check your battery. Again, you can buy testers, or go to a garage if that's an option. If your battery is going to fail, it's likely to fail in the winter
- Check all the other fluids in the car while you're under the bonnet (brake fluid, oil, transmission fluid if you have an auto, water levels)
- Check the tread on your tyres. If they're getting close to the limit, get them replaced
- Go to Homebase and pick up a bag or two of rock salt, and put them in your garage. They're around £5, and you won't be able to buy them for love or money once the snow hits
- If you live in Scotland or Northern England and always get lots of snow, it might be worth getting a set of snow chains or snow socks, and now is the time to buy them. You only need two for a two-wheel drive car, or four for a 4x4
- Make sure you know where your towing eye is, and if it needs something screwed into it to make it work make sure that is in your car. Give it a try straight away so you know it works and you know how to work it - you don't want to be doing it in a foot of snow for the first time
- Make sure you have all of the following in your car:
- A blanket for each person in the car
- A can of de-icer
- A car charger for your mobile
- Some chocolate bars
- Spare windscreen washer
- Bottles of water
- A fold-up spade (here's a cheap one)
- A gallon of whatever fuel your car needs
- A book for while you're waiting (and maybe some toys if you have kiddies)
- You really should have a fire extinguisher, first aid kit, set of jump leads and a florescent jacket/vest in your car all your round.
Get a can of WD-40 and wipe it around your door seals - this will stop it freezing shut.
If you have a 4x4 you can add a tow rope to that list, for dragging lesser cars around and feeling butch
The type you can get from petrol stations will do, but if you get a good kinetic strap
you'll be able to recover lorries buses
You might also want to consider joining your local 4x4 Response
team. In bad weather they'll ask you to help out with all sorts of things, from delivering water to acting as an emergency ambulance.
However: VERY IMPORTANT
: Your 4x4 can go forward in the snow more effectively than other cars, but that doesn't mean it's any better at stopping or going around corners, so be careful.
The following information was written when we weren't approaching a viral apocalypse, so the sharing cars bit may be out of date:
If you do get stranded in the snow, get all your stuff out of the boot and have a look around for other people who are also stranded. Share cars with each other, running the engine for five minutes with the heaters on full every half hour or so (or however long it takes the car to get cold).
Finally, be a member of the AA. It costs £60 for a year or £6 a month, which is a proper no-brainer. It's even worth considering if you don't have a car, but are regularly a passenger in one.