How to make your car ready for winter
it's best to get your car ready for winter sooner rather than later. If you stayed at home this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic and you feel like going on holiday this autumn or winter, we can suggest some nice destinations in Belgium.
Tips for preparing your car for winter
Winter temperatures inhibit the chemical reaction necessary to make a battery work. During the first cold spell in winter, battery problems are still the most common reason for calling breakdown services. If you're working from home more or not driving as much because of coronavirus, this will put the battery under more pressure. Regular use of your car with some longer trips here and there keep your battery healthy. It's therefore always best to have the condition of your car battery checked thoroughly before the first cold spell arrives. It's also a good idea to keep jump leads in your boot, as they allow you to get some help from a neighbour or colleague rather than having to call out the breakdown service.
Check the tread depth of your tyres regularly. The legal minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, but in winter you really need at least 3mm to 4mm. You should also remember to check the tyre pressure. The lower the outdoor temperatures, the lower the pressure will be. For example, if the tyre pressure is 2.0 bar at 20°C, it will only be 1.8 bar at 0°C in winter.
If your company car contract includes summer and winter tyre changes, be sure to make an appointment with the tyre centre storing your winter tyres well before winter starts. If you're not sure where your winter tyres are located, find out instantly with our online tool My LeasePlan.
Check the windscreen washer fluid. Top it up if necessary and add some antifreeze. Make sure you do this before the first cold winter spell. The same applies to the engine coolant. Antifreeze will tolerate freezing to -30°C. This may seem like overkill, but it will give you peace of mind.
Five tips for original autumn and winter getaways
Bruges is particularly charming in the autumn, with the autumn colours of the trees lining the canals reflected in the water. Picture perfect. Discover all the hidden gems of this historic Belgian city. And when it gets too chilly, find the perfect place for a cup of hot chocolate, coffee or tea in one of Bruges' many welcoming brasseries and cafés.
Speaking of chocolate – if you're looking for an indoor activity in Bruges, make sure to drop by Choco-Story. This chocolate museum will literally immerse you in the world of this delicious treat. If you'd like to combine your visit with another museum, you can buy combi tickets that include entry to the Frietmuseum and Diamond Museum.
The Belgian coast is a perfect base for a varied holiday this autumn. Enjoy a breath of fresh air on the windy beach, and then warm up with a delicious pancake or waffle in a lovely setting. The Westhoek nature reserve near the French border and the Zwin nature reserve near the Dutch border are just the right locations for a brisk walk.
And even when the weather isn't that inviting, there are still many other things to do on the coast. Discover the local marine life at Seafront in Zeebrugge, or enjoy a lovely performance at the Staf Versluys events venue in Bredene.
The Ardennes are an ideal spot for a nature holiday. Escape the hustle and bustle and experience autumn in one of the region's many forests and parks. One example is Parc Chlorophylle, an adventure park in Dochamps, Manhay.
Hidden away in 500 hectares of woodland, the park takes its visitors on a journey of discovery along an adventurous 2km nature path consisting of 26 stages. One of the walkways will take you more than 15 metres up near the treetops, allowing you to witness the forest fauna and flora at that height with your own eyes. Families will love the beautifully created wooden forest structures and the huge playground.
If you'd like to immerse yourself (and your family) in the world of science and technology, visit Le Pass in Hainaut and let this original and playful experience show you how science is part of our everyday lives. Le Pass covers a surface area of more than 12,000m2 and includes 15 interactive exhibitions in various scientific fields, such as chemistry, the digital world, the environment and the human body.
And if you need some fresh air after that, climb the 70-metre spoil tip 'Mont Ostène' and enjoy a view of the area from the top. At the playground, the children can play to their hearts' content on swings, with giant spinning tops, city games and a pulley. There's something for everyone!
The Belgian capital has so many gems waiting to be explored. One example of this is the gorgeous street art all over the city. You may just want to let Brussels surprise you and take a random walk around the city, but you can also find some great route suggestions on the Street Art Parcours website.
The site gives you an overview of more than a hundred Brussels street art locations and several walking routes, while you can use the interactive map to create your own route or download an overview for each artist. Two set routes in the Grande Place and Marolles areas cover the highlights, and can easily be downloaded onto your smartphone.