Five signs your car isn’t ready for winter driving

21st Nov 2019
Lisa Boyle

Five signs your car isn’t ready for winter driving

Cold conditions during the winter, particularly in Scotland, tend to exacerbate any undetected engineering problems with your vehicle.

It’s important to recognise some of the signs that your car might not be ready for driving in winter, in order to prevent any potential accidents of breakdowns.



Watermans have launched our ‘Winter is Coming’ safety campaign this Road Safety Awareness Week to help provide you with all the information you need when it comes to driving throughout winter.

Here’s our top five signs that your car isn’t ready for driving this winter.


Engine problems



what to do if other driver admits liability


Is there stuttering problems or a hint of hesitation when it comes to starting your engine?

If so, you might need to get your engine checked out before driving in winter. Hesitation from the engine when you’re accelerating could provide be down to a problem with the fuel system. A stuttering engine could also be a sign that your spark lead plugs have deteriorated. It’s worth getting both of these checked by a qualified technician before hitting the road.


Spongy brakes



If there’s a loss of firmness in your brakes or they don’t feel stable, it’s important that you immediately get them checked out by a garage as a matter of safety. The brakes are the most important safety feature of a car, and winter is the most important time for you to keep an eye out for wear rates.

Look out for unusual grumbling noises, brakes that feel spongy or like they’re getting stuck – as this could mean there’s a problem with the braking system.





If you’ve noticed a lot of condensation building up, it could lead to larger problems. Large amounts of condensation can see water accumulate where rain doesn’t during the winter. If your car’s seals are past their best and water gets into the electrics, it could manifest itself in a number of ways: engine misfires, faulty electric windows or dud door locks can all be signs of a leak.

Try waterproofing the offending area, or alternatively take it to a garage.


Unfamiliar knocking sounds



Loud knocking noises in your car are never a good sign. If your car develops a strong rattle, stop the engine immediately and first check the oil level on flat ground.

If it’s below the minimum on the dipstick – or not even registering on the dipstick at all – top it up with a suitable grade of engine oil. Go to a garage immediately.


Flaring engine revs


Air Bag


Flaring revs under hard acceleration can be an indicator that your car’s clutch is slipping which means it needs replacing, which is an expensive procedure. This is not an issue that can be left as it is extremely dangerous and can actually cause additional damage to other parts of your vehicle.


What happens if you are in a car accident?


Road Traffic Accident


There are so many things to think about in the aftermath of a road traffic accident. That’s where we can help; we work tirelessly to get you the best compensation possible after an accident to help you recover. This can cover things such as car repair costs and loss of earnings due to injury.

Find out how much compensation you are entitled to via our personal injury calculator.

With a bit of forward-thinking, it’s possible to reduce your chances of being in an accident.