What is a Winter Car Check?

15th Oct 2023

What is a Winter Car Check?

Driving can be made more difficult in winter months thanks to there being less light and harsher weather conditions. Accidents and breakdowns are therefore more likely and can be more dangerous.

A lot of these incidents can be avoided simply by making sure your vehicle is up to scratch. By getting a winter car check, you can be more confident that your vehicle will be able to withstand the adverse weather. The few most important things that will get checked during a winter car check are:


Close up of a tyre sidewall, with snowy background

The tread depths and overall quality of the vehicle's tyres are really important, especially in bad weather. If the tread depth is too low, there will not be enough traction, causing you to slip about on the road. In winter, roads can be slippery enough anyway without the added danger of low tread depth, so it is better to just get them checked.

Not only will the winter car check help with keeping you safe in winter weather conditions, but it will mean the life of the vehicle's tyres will be extended too.

Fluid Levels

There are a few things that are checked here, with coolant, antifreeze, screen wash, and oil levels being the main ones.

Issues with the cooling system can lead to breakdowns, which you really do not want during cold weather, so it is a good thing to check to prevent any issues from occurring. Antifreeze is also essential in winter, making it a key thing to keep topped up.

We have already established that the vehicle's windscreen wipers need to be up to scratch, but there also needs to be sufficient levels of a good quality screen wash. During winter, the windscreen can get covered in dirt, snow, ice, and salt from the roads. Having a good screen wash in the vehicle will help with this.

Oil levels are also a key component that needs maintaining in the winter car check. Having too much or not enough oil in the vehicle can affect the engine, so it is a crucial to get it checked.

Windscreen Wipers

In winter, a vehicle's windscreen wipers are likely to see a lot more action than in the summer, with harsher weather and plenty of rain and snow being fairly standard for British winter.

It is even more crucial during winter to maintain good visibility when driving as the road is likely to be in worse condition than in summer and the wipers will help with this. A car can also fail its MOT for windscreen wipers in poor condition, making it another good reason to have them checked regularly.


Pair of red jumper cables sitting on top of an engine bay

Colder temperatures cause all sorts of issues with car batteries, and despite there being plenty of tips you can follow to prolong the battery life, it is still better to get it checked.

During a winter car check, the battery is tested to make sure it is fully functional and optimised. As the battery is needed for many vital parts in the car, this is an essential thing to get checked.

With company cars and fleet vehicles, it is also really crucial to get the battery checked if the vehicle has been stored for any period of time without being driven, as this can cause the battery not be suboptimal.


With shorter days and longer nights in winter months, a vehicle's lights are more important than ever.

During a winter car check, all the lights will be checked. Inadequate headlights and tail lights could be a huge risk in winter, with low visibility already an issue. Not only will properly functioning headlights allow you to see the road better, but having tail lights in good condition will let other cars on the road see you too.

It can also be a good idea to have spare bulbs for the lights in the vehicle. These could be included as part of a winter emergency pack that is left in the vehicle.

Get your Winter Car Check with Pendragon Vehicle Management

Getting your vehicle checked for winter is crucial and can be done with Pendragon Vehicle Management.

You can find out what services are available and how we can help by getting in contact with us today.