Blue car in the snow

How to stay warm in a broken down car

There is never a good time to break down, but breaking down in winter is a particularly unfortunate time for your car to conk out. Being stuck in the middle of nowhere with biting temperatures all around can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable, and making sure you keep your wits about you is of utmost importance. Let Scrap Car Comparison guide you through how to stay warm while waiting to be saved.

Cars parked along a road covered in snow

Wrap up warm

If you’re out in the cold, chances are you’ll have been sensible enough to dress accordingly to the conditions, but it’s always a good plan to have a few additional coats or blankets tucked away in the boot to wrap up if you need to. More layers = more warmth, and if you’re waiting a long time for a recovery truck, having the option to wrap up under a blanket could provide you with a few extra degrees of warmth.

Run the engine a little

If your breakdown isn’t to do with your engine and you’re able to get the motor running, then ticking the engine over for 10 minutes every hour or so will keep some residual heat within your cabin through the heaters. If you’re stuck in heavy snow, just be sure that there’s no snow in your exhaust pipe, as a clogged pipe can cause poisonous gases to enter the car.

Pack a winter kit

In Britain, we’re not used to having to pack a winter survival kit like nations such as Sweden or Canada, where getting stranded in a snow drift is much more of a genuine threat. However, it’s always good to be prepared, and British winters may not always have blankets of snow, but they can still be bitterly cold. Cold enough, at least, that you wouldn’t want to be stuck in one for a long period of time. Below is a list of items that make sense to keep in the emergency kit:

  • Warm clothes – thick socks, gloves, hats, jumpers, coats etc to wrap up if you’re starting to feel the cold
  • Tea light candles – for a little added warmth. However, be careful when using them as you don’t want to set your car alight. It may make it slightly warmer, but you won’t be going anywhere.
  • Window ice scraper & snow shovel
  • Food provisions – stuff that’s going to last and be high in calories, protein and sugar, such as raisins, chocolate bars, nuts, dehydrated fruit and dried meats such as biltong. You’ll also want bottles of water to keep yourselves hydrated.
  • Toiletries – toilet paper and paper towels are always handy, and if you have young children, make sure you’re stocked up on nappies and baby wipes.
  • Cat litter – this may seem a little odd, but when your car gets going again, you can use cat litter for a little extra traction when pulling away.

Purchase hand or foot warmers

If you’re unable to get your engine going, you’re still able to get some heat into your hands through sachets of heat. This may sound obscure, but these hand warmers are often used for people hiking in colder climates, but you can still use them if you’re huddled up trying to keep warm in your car. Simply open the packet and the warming process begins, with best results coming from placing the warmer in a pocket or in a glove. You can also get ones that work for feet as well, meaning you are able to keep yourself warm in even the harshest of winters.

Pack a flask

This one can be a little harder to predict – you never know when you’re going to break down, so to predict it by preparing a flask of hot drink is not necessarily going to be an option. However, having a hot drink on a cold day can always be a popular choice, even if you’re just on a short journey. Flasks are great choices as they keep the hot drink hot, and if you’re struggling for heat, having a sip of a warm tea or coffee – or even soup – then can do wonders for your core temperature.

If you’re concerned that your car is on the verge of giving up entirely and you don’t like the idea of being stranded in poor weather, then why not sell your car as scrap or salvage with Scrap Car Comparison and get rid of the issue before it becomes a big problem? We can guarantee you the very best price for your car, and, thanks to our nationwide network of specialist scrap and salvage buyers can even come and collect the car directly from you – at no extra cost.

Use our quick and easy online quote generator and find out just how much your car could be worth as scrap in as little as 30 seconds.

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