With the weather now feeling considerably colder and nights seeming to last forever, we’re at the magic part of the year – no, not Christmas, but the winter solstice!

Also known as the longest day, this is the point of the year where the earth’s tilt away from the sun reaches its maximum. It also means that after the 21st of December, nights will start to get lighter again!

No matter if you’re a ‘shortest day’ or ‘longest night’ person, it’s a good reminder to check that you’re ready for the rest of winter. Here are a few top tips to make sure you don’t get left stranded in the dark!

Carry de-icer and a scraper

Frosty mornings and afternoons can soon add extra minutes onto your commute, so invest in a scraper and some de-icer to get your car on the road quicker – our 500ml trigger bottle of de-icer costs just £2.50 and will do the job perfectly!

Check your bulbs

Your lights are extremely important not just on longer nights but also dull winter days, and could be the difference between a safe journey home and an insurance claim just before Christmas. Ask someone to walk around your car as you sit with the engine running and lights switched on and asked them to check that your brake lights, reversing lights, fog lights and indicators are working as you switch them on and off. If any bulbs are out, get them changed out straight away by popping to your local Halfords store, where we’ll help you find the right ones and fit them for you.

If are confident enough to do this yourself, then use our helpful online bulb finder and order the bulbs your need from Halfords.com.

Top up your antifreeze

If you haven’t topped up your antifreeze yet, then use this as a reminder to do so. Antifreeze is added to the water in your engine’s cooling system to prevent it from freezing, and is especially important when the temperature drops. Just make sure you read the bottle, as some antifreeze will need to be mixed with water before being added to the antifreeze reservoir in your engine bay. And don’t forget to wear gloves and a pair of goggle if you’ve got them!

Shop antifreeze at Halfords >

Top up your oil and AdBlue

Engines need to work even harder when temperatures are cold, so make sure you’re taking good care of yours by keeping oil at the right level. If you’re not sure how to check your oil, then just take a look at our handy guide.

If you drive a diesel that requires AdBlue, then make sure you’re not driving with the warning light on – your car may go into limp mode or refuse to turn on altogether if you try and drive without any in the tank.

Book your AdBlue top up >

Get your battery checked

Flat batteries are a pain any time of the year, especially so in winter. Fiddling around with jump leads on a dark, freezing cold morning is no fun, so save yourself the hassle by getting a free battery health check at your nearest Halfords store.

Book your free battery check >

Check your tyres

Slippery and snowy roads are hard enough to navigate with perfect tyres, and things just get worse if your tyres are beyond safe limits or under-inflated. Get your tyres checked for free by Halfords and remember to keep them inflated to the recommend PSI found in your owner’s manual.

Get a free tyre check at Halfords >

Put some blankets and jackets in the boot

The weather can turn pretty quickly at this time of year. Play it safe by packing a few extra jackets and blankets in the boot so you can stay nice and toasty in stationary traffic without having to have the engine running and heating on, which will cause your car to eventually run out of fuel, leaving you double-stranded!

Make sure your car is ready for the rest of winter by bringing it to a Halfords Autocentre or Halfords store. We’ll check it over for free and let you know if we spot anything that needs fixing or topping up.

Book your free car check >