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Bromsgrove | Redditch | Wyre Forest

North Worcestershire emergency Planning

Preparing your car for winter

You're more likely to break down in a bad winter and more risk of delays, but not necessarily in the way you'd expect. If vehicles ahead lose control, a jack-knifed lorry for example, you won't be able to get through no matter how well equipped your car is with winter tyres. You could face a wait of several hours until the blockage and other traffic ahead has been cleared.

So here's what you need to do this winter to reduce the risk of a breakdown and make sure that you are equipped to deal with the conditions.

Check your car

  • Antifreeze - check coolant level regularly and, if required, top-up with a mixture of the correct type of antifreeze. Your garage should check concentration to ensure adequate cold temperature protection.
  • Battery - the most common cause of winter breakdowns. A battery more than five years old may struggle in the cold - get it checked and replaced if necessary to avoid the inconvenience of an unplanned failure.
  • Fuel - keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delay.
  • Lights - check and clean all lights regularly to make sure you can see and be seen clearly. Carry spare bulbs.
  • Tyres - should have at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring. Consider winter tyres for improved safety. Check pressures at least every fortnight.
  • Windscreen - reduce dazzle from the low sun by keeping the screen clean inside and out. Now is a good time to renew worn wiper blades.
  • Screen wash - use a 50% mix of a good quality screen wash to reduce the chance of freezing in frosty weather.
  • Locks and door seals - stop doors freezing shut with a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals. A squirt of water dispersant (WD-40) in locks will help stop them freezing.

You and your passengers

As well as the things you should be carrying on every journey regardless of the weather, you should make up a winter emergency kit to keep in the boot, hopefully you won’t need it but you will be very glad it's there if you do.

Year-round essentials

  • Fully-charged mobile phone and in-car charger
  • Sunglasses – to deal with glare from the sun or snow
  • Personal medication
  • Warning triangle
  • Spare bulbs
  • First aid kit
  • Road atlas – in case of diversions
  • Sat-nav or printed route for unfamiliar journeys
  • Breakdown membership card

Winter emergency kit

  • Blanket, rug or sleeping bag
  • Shovel
  • Bits of carpet or thick cardboard to place under driven wheels to help regain traction on ice or snow
  • Salt, sand or cat litter – to help clear snow and ice
  • Reflective jacket(s)
  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and batteries
  • Tow rope
  • Snow chains (if you live in a remote or rural area)
  • Battery jump leads
  • Bottled water
  • Snacks – chocolate or cereal bars
  • Extra screen wash

When bad weather is forecast

  • Warm winter coat, scarf, hat, gloves and warm clothes
  • Waterproofs
  • Sturdy boots
  • Flask of hot drink
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