What you should (and shouldn’t) be doing with your car this winter

*This is a collaborative post*

Cars, can’t live without them, can’t afford to live with the frickin cost of them. This year we changed our swapsie car for a car we actually wanted to buy. When I say swapsie, I mean swapsie. Three years ago I swapped my gorgeous cherished coupe for a family wagon when I was expecting my first daughter through a buy and sell site.  I think this is called growing up.

Here’s a pic of the last spin we took in the babe mobile. I don’t have any pictures of me with the car we swapped it for. I was too upset!

After ploughing on with it and being all practical and grown up, we found ourselves this year in a position to purchase an upgrade and through the power of bargain hunting and cross border VRT evasion (joke, we did pay it, but what robbery!) we landed ourselves a lovely Nissan Qashqai which even has extra seats in the back for people with very short legs, or kids.

I love driving the new car. When I get into I feel better about myself. Say what you like and I know it’s a total commodity thing, but driving a car you like just makes your life better in a tiny way.

The car hasn’t given us any trouble. Not till last week anyway. When it started not starting.

Ah man. The thing you need a car to do the most.

So we booked it in for a service and fix up for the week after next when we’ve met our current bills and responsibilities. Until then we are jump starting it into life, every time we need to go for a spin. Do you know how heavy a car battery is? Very. At least half a ton I’d say.

It’s a bit of a coincidence that Kwik Fit contacted me to work on a collaborative post about car safety checks ahead of winter pretty much as soon as all this started happening then. Did they sense what we are going through every time we want to take a drive? Or did they time it just as the cold weather hit and our tired old car starting giving up the ghost? (My neighbour has to jumpstart her car too, it’s bloody rampant).

Kwik Fit asked me to share my car safety tips ahead of long journeys for their #CarSafetyChecklist campaign. Here, in no particular order is my list of what you should do and what I actually do, in these circumstances.

  • Car Battery

What you should do: Replace the battery every five years. Get it checked if it’s starting to show weakness or car is having difficulty starting, especially ahead of cold weather.

What I do: Drive round with a half ton replacement battery in the boot and jumpstart the car every time I want to go to the shop. Sorted.

  • Anti-freeze and Coolant

What you should do: Check coolant level and top up with anti-freeze ahead of the winter months.

What I do: Apply anti-freeze to my face. It’s the same as botox right?

  • Tyres

What you should do: Check tyres for baldness and ensure they are inflated to the correct pressure levels

What I do: Get punctures. Especially on the motorway. It’s really safe then.

  • Oil

What you should do: Check the engine oil level. Driving without sufficient oil will bust your engine.

What I do: Look at the oil light coming on and say a prayer it’ll go off. Sometimes praying has the same effect as pouring oil right into a combustion engine – did you know that?

  • Windscreen wipers

What you should do: Make sure your wipers are not worn and wind screen wash is at sufficient levels

What I do: Lean out the window in traffic and chuck a bottle of sparkling water over the screen because the water wipers (or pissers as my friend used to call them) are bone dry.

Clearly I am lost to this blogging world and should have been a mechanic or at least, a racing driver.

So there you have it. My list of safety checks that will help you drive through the winter safely. Jokes aside, I do feel strongly about keeping our vehicles in good nick and making sure we are safe on the roads. I don’t know about you, but every time I turn around and see two little faces staring back at me from their car seats, I think – I wish everyone would take a minute, slow down and drive safe. We use our cars to carry around our most precious cargo in the world. Shouldn’t we do everything we can to protect that?



December Girl is now available on Audio. Visit Amazon or Audible or click on the cover below to download.

December Girl audiobook

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