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Darker days and freezing temperatures mean that driving in winter comes with challenges all of it’s own. So it’s essential that you take extra care of your car to get the best performance during the coldest time of the year.

A is for…


Used to prevent ice from forming in the radiator and other parts of the engine, antifreeze is one of the most important elements to check in your car during the winter months. To get the best performance from your car in cold temperatures, make sure you have the right amount of antifreeze that your vehicle needs. If it’s too low it will cause issues, so it’s best to take it to a local garage to have it checked by a mechanic.


Routine maintenance is key, so get an inspection by your local mechanic every winter. Ask them to give your car a once-over to check everything is running smoothly. It will give you peace of mind to know you are driving a reliable car you can have confidence in, and that when you get into it, it will start first time and get you to your destination without incident.

B is for…


Ice and slippery conditions mean that your brakes need to be in perfect working order. Listen out for noise or vibrations when using the brakes on your car. After applying the brakes, if it takes longer than usual for the car to come to a halt, get it inspected immediately by a qualified mechanic.


Winters in cold, damp regions such as ours can be harsh on your battery, so periodically examine your battery performance for unusual noises, vibrations, fluid leaks or excessive heat. If your battery is old or is giving you pause for thought, consider investing in a new one to avoid having a flat at the dreariest time of year.

C is for…


During the cold winter months, your car is subjected to rain, snow and ice, plus the effects of de-icers such as sand and road salt. Washing your car regularly is the easiest way to care for its bodywork and under chassis. Don’t forget the tyres – regularly remove stones and leaves that have got stuck in the crevices. Similarly, keeping windshields clean and wipers in top condition is essential to maintain perfect visibility. Check they are free of dirt, grease, and any physical defects such as cracks, and ensure the windshield washer fluid bottle under the bonnet is topped up.


Harsh weather conditions can damage standard car tyres. Check the treads on your tyres – deep treads give you better control of the vehicle on all roads, including motorways, secondary roads and back lanes. Invest in a set of good-quality tyres to assist with good grip on wet, greasy Irish winter roads, giving you a safer driving experience. Make sure they are properly inflated at all times – cold temperatures can cause the tyre pressure to decrease. This leads to faster wear and tear of the tyre, increased fuel consumption and difficulty in handling the car on the road. Car lights and fully working bulbs are essential during the dark evenings as your visibility depends on them, as does the ability of other drivers to see you. Check front and back and ensure they are all in perfect working condition, and keep lenses clean and scratch-free. Even if a single light stops working or shows signs of damage such as flickering or dimming, get it repaired as soon as possible.

Emergency kit checklist

Should the worst happen, and you do find your car won’t start, it’s handy to have an emergency kit of essential items. Hopefully your preparations mean you won’t need to use it, but it will give you peace of mind to be prepared.

  • Torch
  • Lighter
  • Jump leads
  • Spare car jack
  • Phone charger
  • Scissors
  • First aid kit
  • Essential medicines
  • Dry snacks
  • Drinking water
  • Blanket

Keeping your car in good condition will ensure that you can be confident of safe, responsible driving during the cold, damp winter months in Ireland. Having good car insurance cover will make sure you are financially covered in case of any damages caused due to a bad weather accident or any other unforeseen events. So, it is vitally important to invest in a good car insurance policy that covers you adequately during winter driving.