Love your car and it will love you back …. Keeping you safe on the road at winter time.
It will probably come as no surprise to know that your car will require more attention during the winter months, than at any other time of the year. In this blog we have listed some of the common problems that people encounter …. and how to avoid them.
Be kind to your car!
During the cold season it is a really good idea to let your car have a few moments to warm up in the morning. This is helpful on several levels. Firstly, it will allow the engine oil and coolant to warm up, lubricating engine parts. Also, if windscreen washers/wipers have frozen, these will have time to thaw out too. Many a windscreen washer motor has blown during the winter season, simply because it did not have time to thaw out before use. With the engine running and the blowers working, this will also help the windscreen and mirrors to defrost. If in a hurry use a little de-icer. Never be tempted to reach for the boiling kettle – this will only end up in disaster, and an annoying bill for a replacement windscreen where the sudden change in temperature has caused the glass to crack.
Don’t forget to have the strength of the antifreeze in your engine checked. During the year the strength of this solution could be weakened from general topping up. Antifreeze is extremely important, not just for stopping engine/coolant freezing during cold nights, but also ensuring that the coolant does not freeze and damage engine parts whilst driving quickly. ‘Cold’ gets a lot colder when travelling at speed!
Maximise your visibility
When mentioning visibility most drivers think about icy windows, or reducing condensation. A recent study carried out by the AA revealed that winter sun glare causes 3,000 accidents / 36 deaths per year, an extremely shocking statistic I’m sure you’ll agree. In all these cases the key word is ‘visibility’. Ensure that your windscreen is as clear as possible. This does not just mean from ice, but smear marks too. A smeary windscreen, combined with a low winter sun is a sure combination to cause sudden winter blindness when driving during winter evenings. Also, leave those summer sunglasses in the car. These, combined with a low sun-visor and clean windscreen can only help whilst battling with these difficult driving conditions.
Check your tyre treads. During winter months it is the tread and correct tyre pressures that will ensure good grip on wet and icy roads. If you’re not sure on how deep these treads should be, try using our simple 20 pence piece test. When standing the coin on its side in between the tread, you should not be able to see the ridge pattern around the edge of the coin. If you can the treads have worn below the legal limit required. Don’t forget to check the tyre all the way around. If in doubt call in and we will be very happy to check this for you.
Finally, during poor winter weather always try and allow plenty of time for your journey. It’s always better to arrive late, than be ‘dead’ on time!