The summer was a wash out and the nights are drawing in. Winter is on its way and if you're a car owner then you'll want to make sure that your vehicle is in prime condition for the colder weather. We've brought together some essential tips on getting your Mercedes ready for winter that will help to keep your car running smoothly through the festive season and beyond.

Check your brakes

If you haven't switched to winter tyres (we'll come to those in a moment) then your braking distance could be much longer in winter rather than the summer. You certainly don't want to discover you have a problem with your brakes on a slippery road late at night. Drop by your local dealer or garage to make sure they're in tip-top condition and ready for winter.

Change the tyres

Most vehicles sold in the UK come with summer tyres. The performance of these starts to degrade once temperatures drop below about 7 degrees celsius. Because UK temperatures rarely drop to the chilly extremes experienced in Scandinavia or Germany, most drivers run with these tyres all year round. For maximum safety however, you should swap to a set of winter tyres around November. Whilst this may seem like an unnecessary expense, you'll actually save a lot of wear and tear on your set of summer tyres, meaning they'll last far longer before they have to be replaced.

Be sure the battery is ready for winter

Batteries perform less effectively in cold weather. This can be a particular problem is high-end cars like your Mercedes which boast more and more gadgets and gizmos every year. Once the temperature drops below 0 degrees celsius, your battery will be 30% less efficient than it usually is. Your local garage will be able to check that the battery is ready for the cold weather and perform some general maintenance tasks to help it survive the winter season with ease.

Refill your fluids

Your dashboard lighting up like a Christmas tree might add a touch of festive cheer to the car but that probably won't help the atmosphere if you break down on the side of the motorway. Each of those little blinking warning lights is trying to tell you something and, in many cases, that something will be that your fluids need to be refilled. Antifreeze is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you're thinking of winter driving but it's worth checking the others too. Make sure that your windscreen washer fluid uses an all weather formula. You certainly don't want it to freeze during a snowstorm!

By following the tips above and using a little common sense you can ensure that your Mercedes is ready for the conditions winter will throw at it. It's just a little time for a lot of peace of mind and will ensure a smooth and trouble free driving experience during the winter months.