With the colder months in full swing, it’s essential to ensure your car is fully protected for those essential winter journeys. The cold weather can impact your vehicle in many ways including battery issues, engine troubles, and windscreen damage. However, you can protect your vehicle from the elements by ensuring that your fluids are topped up sufficiently.

Whilst the thought of maintaining your vehicle during potentially freezing temperatures can feel daunting, Halfords are always on hand! To help you prepare your car for winter, we’ve put together a list of 5 essential fluids that will keep your car running when temperatures have dropped, giving you the confidence to keep going.

Essential fluids for your car

Keeping your fluids topped up is vital for ensuring you are covered when setting off on winter journeys. Here are five fluids every vehicle needs during the colder months:

Engine oil

Running low on engine oil is a frequent cause of breakdowns and can cause serious damage to the engine. Oil helps lubricate the engine and keeping it topped up could save you from having to fork out on unnecessary repairs.

As many as 1 in 4 cars are low on oil, causing additional friction and heat in your engine, and possible damage in the long term. Many vehicles will have an oil warning light that turns on if the level drops too low, but we would always recommend regular checks so that you can keep an eye on your oil levels and top up before it’s too late.

Our 10-point winter car health check includes an oil level check in addition to tyre and battery checks, so you can have peace of mind that your vehicle is in full working order this winter.


Antifreeze is essential during the colder months as it prevents water within your engine’s cooling system from freezing over. Frozen water within the cooling system can cause significant damage to the radiator and can be costly to fix.

Antifreeze comes in concentrated form which must be diluted with water and a ready mixed form. Knowing which antifreeze to use will be dependent on the make and model of your vehicle. More modern cars made after 1998 require antifreeze with silicate-free, organic acid technology (OAT).

If you are unsure which antifreeze should be used in your vehicle, speak to one of our in-store experts. You can also use our online lookup tool, by entering your vehicle registration to discover the right antifreeze for your car.


The winter months mean that many of us must drive around in the dark. As a result, it’s crucial that windscreens are kept as clean as possible to get the clearest view of the road ahead – it is also a legal requirement that your screen washer bottle is filled at all times. Whilst you can use water to clean your windscreen. We would always recommend using a screen wash as it contains detergents to help clean the windscreen, and comes in a range of temperatures down to -30c to prevent your washer jets and windscreen from freezing

De-icer/Rain X

The winter months often mean having to battle icy conditions and being faced with an iced over car on a frosty morning is never fun. As a result, it’s important to invest in a de-icer with a fast-acting formula that will clear the frost quickly.

It can also be useful to choose a 2 in 1 pre-icer and de-icer, where the formula can be sprayed onto the windscreen the night before to prevent a frosty windscreen in the morning.

In addition to the icy weather, British winters also bring a great amount of rain! Rain-X is a valuable product which applies a repellent barrier to your windscreen to help improve visibility during wet conditions.


Additives help your car engine run more efficiently, preventing the engine from clogging up, which is more likely to happen when you’re taking small journeys in the cold.

To combat the cold weather’s harsh effects on your engine,  use a petrol or diesel cleaner such as Wynns Total Action Petrol Cleaner or Diesel Cleaner.  These additives are developed to keep your vehicle’s injectors and fuel system clean. They will also help to restore engine performance, as well as reduce exhaust emissions and fuel consumption.

While winter weather may not always be pleasant, at least you know your car can battle through when armed with the right fluids!

Between 25th December 2021 – 14th February 2022, we’re offering our 10-point winter car health check, worth £15, absolutely free! Book online today and have peace of mind that your vehicle is in tip top condition this winter.