After a bitterly cold start to the week, Manchester car owners should make sure they are prepared for chilly autumn and winter.

Manchester drivers woke up to a frosty Monday morning. And it looks like the weather is going to get worse before it gets better.

Many drivers would have been annoyed this morning when they had to spend a bit longer de-icing their vehicles before setting off.

But cold and wintery weather can be dangerous if it is not taken seriously.

So, with the promise of more treacherous weather and poor road conditions on the way, we share top tips for preparing for more sub-zero starts to the day.

Get your car winter-ready

Winter roads are far more dangerous than summer roads. And your car is a lot more likely to break down.

To make sure you keep moving and stay safe through the colder months, it is worth performing a few basic vehicle checks. Especially if you have to travel long distances to work or to see relatives over the festive period.

You can reduce the risk of breakdown or car accident by checking your brakes, tyres, wipers and bulbs – and change any that need replacing.

Critically, you need to make sure that your tyres have a tread depth of at least the mandatory minimum of 1.6mm (this is the length of the outer band of a 20 pence piece).

If you don’t meet this 1.6mm requirement you could be liable to pay a fine of up to £2,500. But remember that this is just a mandatory minimum limit and really you should be aiming for at least 3mm.

You should also ensure that you keep your car topped up with antifreeze in the radiator and windscreen washer bottle. This can also help you clear your windscreen of ice in a hurry.

Make sure you keep your windscreen clean inside and outside to aid visibility, and if your windscreen wiper blades are starting to show their age then think about replacing them.

It is also worthwhile making sure you have a ‘survival pack’ inside your car. This should include a good quality ice scraper (don’t ruin your credit cards), warm jumpers, a blanket, emergency food and drink and something to keep you entertained if you get stuck for more than a couple of hours.

Professional winter check-up from Duffy Motors

Duffy Motors offers a fast and convenient winter car check from its Manchester City Centre garage.

The service is perfect for anyone who lives or works in the City Centre.

You can drop off and pick up your car when you want and Lee and the team will only charge for half an hour’s labour.

For that Duffy Motors will perform a professional check on:

  • The battery (cold can interfere with the chemical process in batteries. This is one of the most common causes of winter breakdown.)
  • Bulbs
  • Wipers
  • Oil levels
  • Tyres
  • Screenwash

Book your winter car check-in and come and visit Duffy’s City Centre garage located next to the Beetham Tower, just off Deansgate.

Call: 0161 834 4168.

How to de-ice your car properly

If you are running late for an appointment, it can be tempting to de-ice your windows quickly to make sure you get there on time.

But this can be dangerous. Here is the best way to do a proper de-icing job in the shortest possible time.

  • Switch the engine on and turn the heating up to allow warm air to circulate.
  • DON’T leave your car unattended while you wait for it to warm up. This is illegal and, more to the point, you could be the victim of the same crime as Paul Scholes.
  • Get a good quality scraper and set about the frost on all your windows.
  • Create a mix of salt and water and keep it in an old spray bottle to help loosen the frost.
  • Alternatively, use a mixture of rubbing alcohol and water or professional de-icing spray to cut through the frost.
  • You can also use lukewarm water to melt some of the frost quickly but NEVER use boiling water as this can shatter a cold windscreen.
  • Make sure all your windows are clear of frost and mist before setting off.