The nights are drawing in and winter is looming. Here are GWA’s top tips for winter driving, including car care and planning ahead.
Battery and electrics
Breakdowns double during cold spells. Batteries only last around 5 years, so our advice is to get your battery checked at your local garage.
Turn off unnecessary electrical items such as your rear windscreen heater once it has cleared.
Antifreeze costs only a few pounds and could save you a great deal more if your engine coolant freeze and damages your engine.
If your car starts to overheat switch it off as your radiator may have frozen.
Keep your windscreen, windows and lights clear. You could face a fine if you do not.
Use your air conditioning when clearing your screen to speed it up, and check to see your wipers are in good condition.
It is advised that your tyres have at least 3mm of tread for winter driving. There is the option of winter tyres and in extremes winter chains, although not a popular option in the UK.
Driving in snow and ice
Be sure to get up 10 minutes early, this will give you time to get your car ready. Plan routes to favour main roads as they are more likely to have been gritted.
Put safety before punctuality during cold weather as stopping distances are 10 times longer on ice and snow. Try to use higher gears to increase traction.
When the weather is extreme and you are going on a long journey it is advised to prepare an emergency kit. If this seems unnecessary please imagine yourself stranded in the cold overnight.
The following items may be of use in such a situation:
▪ A tow rope
▪ A shovel (if you have room)
▪ A pair of boots or wellies
▪ A torch
▪ A Blanket
▪ A Fully charged phone
With these tips in mind you shouldn’t find yourself caught out this winter.
For any further tips on winter driving call us on 01243 510650