Rain and snow both collect pollutants from the sky as they fall to the ground and these create a thin film on your car when the water evaporates. This can cause problems if not cleaned off. Salt is corrosive and can ruin paintwork and chrome. If it mixes with mud and sticks underneath the car it can also cause rust.
As autumn starts, you should make sure that that your windscreen washer reservoir is topped up with a decent screen wash and adjust the concentration for winter conditions. The screen wash needs to contain anti-freeze to stop ice forming when the temperature plummets. Your wiper blades should also be in good condition and shouldn't leave smears on the glass. You can add bags of silica gel under your seats to absorb condensation on the inside windows of your car.
Engine oil is fundamental for keeping your car running properly and it needs checking and changing if necessary to keep the car adequately lubricated.
It is also very important to look at the condition of your tyres (including the spare) because you will need extra grip in the winter. The tread should be above the legal limit and any wear should be even. Tyre pressures should be at that recommended by the manufacturer.
With the reduced light in the winter it is extremely important to make sure that all of your lights are working before you get caught out. You will also need to make sure that your car is up to date with services and that your horn is sounding properly.
Batteries work harder in winter because of the increased power demand for lights and de-misters. Cold starts are more power-hungry because the car fluids are more viscous in winter. Check that your battery contact terminals are clean and that your battery isn't running too low. Replace if necessary.
If you don't already have roadside assistance options to cover you for a break down, consider getting some, and if you do have it, make sure it is current. You don't want to get stuck with no-one to help you.
By getting your car in shape before the winter you will save yourself a good deal of hassle.
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