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The essential kit you need to keep in your car this winter

Kwik Fit | Wednesday 12th November 2014 2:00pm

Audi driving in snow

Winter can be a real challenge for drivers with traffic coming to a halt at the first sign of snow and the freezing cold weather taking its toll on your car. Should the worst happen and your car breaks down or you become stranded on the roads this winter, carrying the right gear could get you out of a jam or at the very least make the whole experience a lot less stressful.

To help you prepare your car for sub-zero temperatures here is our list of essential items to keep in your car this winter.

Mobile phone

A fully charged mobile phone is essential so that you can call for help or to let loved ones know that you are alright. If you have breakdown cover, make sure you keep the number in your phone, should you need roadside assistance. Equally important, make sure you have an in-car phone charger to top up your battery.

Clothing and blankets

If you become stranded in your car it can get cold very quickly (especially if it is not safe to stay in the vehicle). Make sure you pack some blankets in the boot and plenty of warm clothes including hat and gloves. We also recommend keeping a pair of wellies in the boot in case you need to venture into floods or snow.

Spade

Keep a shovel in the boot - this will prove invaluable if you get stuck in snow and need to dig yourself out of trouble.

Food and water

Thereís no telling how much time adverse weather will add to your journey and extreme cases you could be stuck overnight. In the event of a long delay you are going to get hungry and dehydrated so always keep a supply of fresh water and some food in the car to keep you going.

Car jack and jump leads

You should keep these in your car all year round but they are particularly important in winter when you least want to get stuck with a flat tyre or battery. Your battery is particularly sensitive to the cold weather so a set of jump leads and a jump start from a friendly passer-by could help you to get home safely.

Ice scraper and de-icer

These are the most effective items to clear ice from your windscreen. Donít be tempted to pour hot water on your windscreen, it may seem like the quickest way to clear the ice but the thermal shock caused by the rapid change in temperature can result in cracks to your windscreen.

Fuel

This one is a little more tenuous but it is important to keep sufficient fuel in your vehicle (in the fuel tank that is) to ensure that you can get to your destination or to the nearest petrol station when wintery weather slows traffic to a crawl. Some experts recommend keeping at least half a tank of fuel in the car during winter and to fill up every time you reach the half full marker, as if the tank was empty. It is also suggested that keeping fuel in the tank prevents dirt from entering the fuel line.

What kit do you always pack when preparing for a winter journey? Share with us your winter driving tips for a chance to win a Winter Driving Kit courtesy of Michelin. Visit the Kwik Fit Facebook page and share your tips for a chance to win. Hurry, competition ends this Sunday, 16th November.

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