Winter has arrived - is your vehicle ready?
2nd November 2013
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We can no longer deny it... winter is here!

And with the cold, less-predictable weather and less daylight comes harsher driving conditions and a greater chance of break downs and accidents.

Preparation is key.

Here's what you need to do to keep you and your vehicle safe on Cambridgeshire's winter roads...

Vehicle checklist

Are all your lights working and clean?  

With weather-induced darkness and fewer daylight hours, it is important to ensure that all your lights are working.  If you drive a lot on country roads or if there is a lot of post-snow sludge, it is important to check that the lights are still clean during your journey, especially during the evening, night and early morning.

Do you know the condition of your tyres? 

Wet and icy roads are even more dangerous with the wrong tread and pressure so ensure that your tyres (including the spare) are suitable for winter driving.  Refer to your manual for pressure requirements and have your tyres checked or replaced at Heath Road Garage or C & R Autos in Cambridge.  

Is your battery reliable and fully charged?   

Flat batteries are one of the major reasons for calls to breakdown specialists.  If your battery isn't reliable, consider replacing it but definitely carry jump leads.

Have you checked your oil and water lately?  

Make sure to do so frequently and that you are using the correct amount of anti-freeze – different amounts are needed depending on the outside temperature.

Do you have enough windscreen fluid ready for the extra spray, rain and muck?  

Ensure that you have enough fluid, that it is the correct concentration for the weather and that all windscreen wipers are in good condition. 

Planning your journey

Consider packing:

De-icer and scrapers

Warm clothes, including gloves and wellington boots

A torch

A tow rope

A shovel

A fully-charged mobile phone

A blanket

Emergency food and water

A first-aid kit 

Listen to weather forecasts for all areas that you will be driving through – conditions can vary and change rapidly.

If conditions are very bad, consider if your journey is essential. 

Inform someone of your plans – your destination, route and proposed timings. 

Regularly fill up your tank of petrol – you may be caught somewhere with the engine running for warmth so don't calculate petrol on mileage alone.

People who can help in Cambridge

Based in Milton in Cambridge, C & R Autos pride themselves on good value, high quality service and can help with general car maintenance and repairs, supplies, tyres and advice.  They also promise the utmost respect and honesty to their female customers who they realise can be apprehensive about visiting a garage.

Heath Road Garage offer trustworthy solutions and services tailored to your needs and vehicle problems.  They promise competitive prices to all and believe that their 15 years of business is down to their high standards of customer service and traditional values. 

In case you do break down, Manchett's Rescue and Recovery can be with you within 30 minutes to get you on your way again.  A family business since 1961, Manchett's will diagnose and, if possible, repair your car at the roadside 24 hours a day, 375 days a year.

If the worst does happen and you are in a minor accident, Ace Finish Ltd will repair dents, scratches and scuffs to bumped cars.  They offer a professional and affordable mobile service around Cambridge so will come to wherever is most convenient for you. 

Whether you are planning a long journey or just travelling in and around Cambridge, prepare your vehicle and stay safe this winter.

About the Author

Ian C

Member since: 9th July 2012

I run thebestof Cambridge. My aim is to help make the best local businesses shine! Afterall, they are the best for a reason worth shouting about. Outside of work I enjoy playing football, swimming and...

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