Even after more than a century of automotive evolution, the sad fact is that the worst of British weather can still have a serious impact on vehicles, especially during the winter months. So if you’ve recently bought a vehicle through one of our online car auctions with the intention of taking it back out on the roads, here’s what you need to do to keep it in tip top condition.  

1. Don’t use hot water on your windscreen

One of the most common mistakes that many drivers make in the morning is to pour hot water directly onto the windshield. Although at first glance it might seem like the most effective way to warm it up and get rid of the ice, physics really isn’t your friend here. In fact, the drastic change in temperature can cause the screen to crack - and even worse, it may not be covered under your insurance policy. So what’s the best way to remove ice from your windscreen? Quite simply, having a scraper handy is ideal for quickly getting all the ice off your car in the safest way possible. 

2. Don’t make long trips (without planning them first)

During periods of heavy rain, snow, ice, and high winds, you’ll already know some of the best ways to prevent your car from becoming damaged. One of the best solutions is to plan trips carefully by looking at the current and future weather predictions and the road conditions along the route being taken. The Met Office typically issues warnings when the weather is severe and informs drivers whether it’s safe to drive. Taking this into account when travelling can be the difference between a successful trip or a hazardous nightmare.

3. Don’t leave your lights unchecked

Car lights can become very dirty during the winter months. When this happens their effectiveness can greatly reduce and create dangerous situations. Therefore it’s recommended to check your front and back lights before each journey, more so if you’ll be travelling when it's dark. 

4. Don’t drive off without testing your brakes

Brakes are an essential lifeline that must not be taken for granted. Travelling in the winter may cause general wear and tear on brakes. Therefore they must be examined closely to identify any potential issues.

Cars that have not been used in a couple of days or weeks must be treated with extreme caution. This is due to the increased risk of different features of the braking system freezing over. If this is the case, it’s best to test the vehicle off the road and check for any unusual noises or sensations when the brakes are in use. 

5. Don’t go over the recommended servicing time

It’s recommended that cars are serviced every twelve months or 12,000 miles, depending on what is reached first. Although, some vehicles may be different. The best way to know is to check the car’s handbook, as that should include the recommended information on when to service it. 

During a service, any vulnerabilities will be found which can prevent larger problems from occurring when driving in harsh conditions. Make sure to leave plenty of time before the car needs servicing, this is because many garages take around 2 weeks before they can take a look. 

6. Don’t let antifreeze levels drop

Antifreeze is a very necessary component of properly maintaining your car, as it halts the chance of your engine’s cooling system from freezing up. There’s also the possibility that if the coolant levels aren’t high enough, you increase the chance of your engine overheating, causing lots of damage to your car. 

Antifreeze should be checked regularly and topped up every 2 to 5 years, depending on what car you have and the coolant type that is used. 

7. Don’t leave your car battery unchecked

Flat batteries are one of the single most common causes of breakdowns, and cold, icy weather only amplifies this problem. By changing it every three years, you can reduce the risk of a flat battery. However, there are a few signs that will help you notice when it is starting to go. If you find that the engine is turning slower when you start it, or the red battery light starts to appear while driving, it might be a good idea to get that battery changed to save you from a potential disaster.

These are just a few general tips - when it comes right down to it, you’ll need to make sure to trust your instincts too. In heavy snow or ice it’s best to avoid driving at all, but if you absolutely have to, take it slowly and carefully, and allow plenty of extra time for your journey. 

And if the cold has indeed finally done for your car, then you can always find some excellent bargains amongst our range here at RAW2K. Our auctions refresh on a daily and weekly basis, so you’ve always got a great chance of finding a bargain here on our site. We’ve got models from a range of leading global manufacturers, including AudiBMW and Mercedes. Why not take a look around our site, and see what you can find?