6 tips to weather-proof your car

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Read these six top tips on keeping your car in perfect running order in winter.

January is the ideal time to show your car a bit of love to make sure it’'s running smoothly for the year ahead.

Although car maintenance is important all year round, in the cold, wet, winter months it’'s especially important for your car to be in tip-top shape.

To make sure you don’'t find yourself stranded on a frosty, road-side embankment, be sure to carry out these six basic car maintenance checks before heading out on a wintry morning:

1. Check your car's battery -– flat batteries and battery faults are the most common reason for winter call outs according to The AA. It'’s no surprise that a flat battery can ruin your day, so if your car struggles to start when you turn on the engine you may need to charge the battery. Make sure to keep jump leads in your car just in case

2. Test your brakes -– working brakes are pretty important for anyone hoping to get to their destination safely, so make sure to check them regularly. If you notice anything unusual such as the brake warning light on the dash lit up, the car pulling to one side or a high-pitched sound when you apply pressure to the brakes, get your car booked into a garage ASAP

3. Are your tyres legal? A new set of tyres could prove costly but skidding because yours are bald or being pulled over by the police could cost you even more. Our Claims Engineers team says to check there’'s no uneven wear and that the tread is above 1.6mm. Use a 20p coin; if the outer edge is obscured by the tread you'’re above the legal limit, if you can see the outer edge your tyres could be under the legal limit

4. Top up the coolant –- your coolant levels need to be between the minimum and maximum markers and you need to make sure you have the right amount of anti-freeze in the coolant to avoid damage from a frozen engine

5. Fill up the screen wash -– screen wash is so important at this time of year as streaks on the windscreen and low winter sun can be a dangerous combination. Make sure yours is topped up and buy good quality screen wash with the lowest possible freezing point

6. Test the car's lights -– during the winter you probably start to feel nocturnal with all the driving to and from work in the dark so it'’s no surprise that having lights which work is essential. Grab a friend and test headlights, tail lights, sidelights, indicators, brake lights, registration plate lights, fog lights and hazard light.

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