Motorists are being urged to make sure their car maintenance is up to speed as temperatures plunge across the region.
The number of breakdowns can double during cold weather - but more than half of car mishaps are preventable, according to the AA.
Drivers are advised to keep car batteries charged up, use anti-freeze mixtures in engine coolants and replace old light bulbs to makes sure vehicles can cope with the falling temperatures.
Max Holdstock, AA patrol of the year, said: “The cold can cause problems for your car and in more ways than many people realise.
“Breakdowns can double in very cold weather but up to half are potentially preventable through regular servicing and maintenance checks. The most common call to the AA for help is a flat battery.”
Other top maintenance tips during cold weather include keeping windscreen wiper blades clean and checking tyre tread depth, condition and pressure.
Drivers are also urged to check for windscreen and glass chips, as cold weather can cause them to grow and the damage could become irreparable.
During severe winter weather, the AA warns that motorists should keep up-to-date on traffic reports and only drive if it is essential.
Mr Holdstock added: “The vital thing is to drive smoothly, keep your speed down and avoid sharp acceleration, braking or cornering as far as possible by keeping plenty of space between you and the car in front.
“Be alert to black ice particularly on unsalted roads – it’s difficult to see as the road will simply look wet. On an icy road, start in second gear or engage winter mode if an automatic and keep in as high a gear as possible.
Mr Holdstock said drivers should keep warm clothing in cars, as well as a first aid kit, any personal medication and high energy refreshments.
The AA says more than half of breakdowns during cold winter weather are preventable.
The top car maintenance tips for winter include:
Keep car batteries charged up and check if it’s old.
Check that engine coolants have the correct 50/50 mixture with anti-freeze.
Replace old car light bulbs if they have blown.
Check for any windscreen or glass chips because they can get worse and become irreparable in cold weather.
Keep windscreen wiper blades clean.
Always check the vehicle’s tyre tread depth, condition and pressure.