Winter driving. Most people hate it, a lot refuse to do it, but often, it cannot be avoided. However, there are steps that can be taken to ensure your journey is a safe one, and that driving in snowy or icy conditions is just the same as driving at any other time as long as you're prepared and sensible.
Battery & Electrics
Breakdowns are more common at this time of year, in fact they almost double from other months, largely because of the extra strain put on your car's battery. With the darker days and longer nights, plus the rain and cold temperatures, you'll find yourself using lights, wipers and heaters a lot more. Get your car checked out.
Antifreeze costs only a few pounds, but the damage that can be done from frozen car parts can cost you hundreds, maybe thousands. Your car's handbook will advise you as to the best type of antifreeze to use.
Quite clearly, it helps when driving in wintry conditions if you can see. If your vision is obscured through dirt, snow or even sticker-infested car windows you could face a hefty fine, or you could get into a serious accident. Make sure all snow is removed from the car (including the roof), that yoru windscreen is clean inside and out, and that you have a good level of wiper fluid.
Your car lights are vital on these dark days. Before a journey, check that they are all working, and that the coverings are clean, and also see to it that yoru registration plates can be read, front and back.
It is so important that your tyres are prepared for the extra strain put on them in the cold conditions. They should have at least 3mm of tread remaining, and have a good amount of air in them. Reducing tyre pressure does not help and increases instability.
Before You Go
Prepare well for the journey. 10 minutes is the minimum it takes to properly ready a car for any kind of journey. Put safety before punctuality, and be prepared to be late. If you cannot be late, set out earlier. It is that simple.
Also, make sure you keep a Winter Pack in your car. The ideal pack would contain all of the following items:
For more tips along these lines, check out the AA website.
I shall reiterate once more, it's all about preparation. If you have very little idea what you're doing when it comes to cars, like myself, then get a professional to do it for you. Winter driving isn't something to be taken lightly. And, if you use Whitecroft Garage for a service in December or January, you'll get a FREE Winter Essentials Pack (worth £10) including De-Icer, Scraper and Screen Wash.
Member since: 9th July 2012
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