The nights have closed in, the weather is getting colder and winter will soon be upon us. Then we can face inclement weather on our commutes such as lashing rain, ice, or even snow. It makes perfect sense to be prepared, rather than be stranded at the side of the road waiting for help.
One of the easiest things to keep in your car at all times is a tyre pump. You should be checking your tyre pressures every week, but every two weeks is sufficient enough. Your own tyre pump will save you a trip to the nearest petrol station along with all the faffing about of finding some change, fighting with the air line as you try and get round your car…you know the drill.
We’ve reviewed a couple of tyre pumps, but one of the best is the RAC Tyre Maintenance and Puncture Repair Kit. It comes with a bottle of gunk that will fix a puncture temporarily, but unlike most other tyre repair systems this lets you wash the solution out and have the puncture repaired properly. Rather than the tyre being thrown away.
Now it may seem a tad extreme in the UK to have a set of snow chains, but with the weather becoming ever more unpredictable it’s worth thinking about. Especially if you live in more remote parts of the country.
One of the newest and most affordable options is the Easy Grip Evolution system from Michelin. Made from a composite plastic it’s like a stretchy net that fits over your tyres. There’s no metal parts so you don’t have to worry about damaging your alloys and the socks pack into a bag small enough to keep in your boot.
This is something barely anyone carries in their car, but it makes perfect sense as you often get caught without any whilst out and about. In winter make sure you buy the neat stuff that can go down to minus temperatures. This will stop your screenwash from freezing on those chilly mornings.
Using neat water or a screenwash that freezes at a few degrees below could well damage or even brake your water pump. Buy a small bottle of neat screenwash and keep it in your boot just in case, or keep screenwash tablets with you.
It goes without saying, you need a decent ice scraper come winter. Not a spatula, or a credit card… a proper ice scraper.
Another good thing to pack into your car are some warm clothes. Getting stuck in a car is never fun, winter temperatures make it even worse. Motorists who get stranded in snow or traffic jams will tell you how chilly things can get.
It’s worth buying some insulated thermal blankets, the type runners are given after a marathon. They come folded up in tiny squares so are easy enough to pack into your car first aid kit, you have one of those…don’t you?
Only really needed if things are getting dire out there. Make sure you don’t leave home without a shovel if snow is forecast, you could get stuck but a quick shovel will often get your, or a fellow motorist out of trouble.