In addition to the usual checks (headlights, brakes and tyres), ask your mechanic to check the condition of the battery and the alternator, as low temperatures place the battery under increased strain. As well as leaving you stuck at the roadside, a flat battery can damage the vehicle’s electrical system and starter motor.
As the screenwash is mostly water, it freezes easily and therefore becomes unusable when temperatures drop. It is therefore recommended to fill up the reservoir with a screenwash containing antifreeze that can withstand temperatures as low as -25°C. Also consider checking the level and quality of the coolant.
In winter, even a slight impact on your windscreen can quickly lead to a crack. This is due to cold temperatures and frost, which affect the strength of the glass. The difference in temperature between the inside and the outside of the vehicle also makes the windscreen less robust. This is why it is important to have any damage repaired before hiring out your vehicle.
If you live in a region where it often snows and you do not have winter tyres, chains are essential. If necessary, take the time to show the driver how to fit them. The chains must be fitted on the drive wheels (usually the front wheels) and removed when there is no longer snow on the roads. Finally, you must drive below 30 mph when the car is equipped with chains.
This article was written with assistance from the Bosch Car Services network of garages.