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Hilltop Garage tips for safer driving

  • Author: Hilltop Garage
  • Published: 4th October 2019
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Hilltop Garage tips for safer driving

As the autumn gales roll in and winter weather on the horizon, the number of vehicle breakdowns handled by Hilltop Garage Horndean can more than double. Based on years of experience they share their 8 top tips to help you drive safely in the next few months.

 1. Get your car serviced

We can spot and rectify faults during a routine service saving you time and money. If your car is due for a service we now offer online booking on our website:

2. Check the battery

The number one cause of problems is the battery failing; cold weather puts an increased electrical load on the heater, blower, heated screens and lights. On average, a battery will last about five years; any older and it may be wise to replace it before it fails.

3. Engine coolant

The coolant mixture in the radiator should be a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze. Have coolant, ready mixed, to top up the cooling system; too little antifreeze and the coolant could freeze resulting in serious problems and a large repair bill.

4. Tyres

Check the pressures and the tread depths of your tyres as they are essential to steering and braking efficiency. We recommend a minimum of 3mm depth during autumn and winter to give a better grip and performance on wet or snowy roads, compared to a depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal minimum.

5. Lights

Keep all your lights, indicators and reflectors clean. Check that the bulbs regularly and ensure there are no cracks in the lenses.

6. Wash your windscreen

Keep your windscreen clean, inside and out, and ensure the screen wash reservoir is kept topped up with a screen wash that contains antifreeze. Please don’t put coolant antifreeze in the reservoir, it will smear and won’t clean the screen and it also can seriously damage your paintwork.

7. Prepare for long journeys

  • Check weather forecast, travel news to work out the safest route
  • Charged mobile phone
  • Allow extra time to avoid rushing
  • Make sure all your windows are clear and clean.
  • Keep at least a quarter tank of fuel in the car in case of unexpected delays
  • Check engine oil, coolant levels and tyre pressure

8. Carry a winter survival kit

 You never know what the weather can throw at you so pack the following:

  • carry a shovel to clear away deep snow and mud
  • torch
  • warm car blanket
  • hi-vis vest;
  • food and drink
  • ice scraper and de-icer
  • mobile phone with an in-car charger

What if I am not confident to make these checks?

At Hilltop Garage Horndean we recommend that you get your car serviced before winter really takes hold. Book online at or call us on 02392 596038; or pop in to see us at 299 London Road, Horndean, Waterlooville, Hants, PO8 0JE.

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