The following winter driving tips will help you keep things running throughout the winter months.
Driving during the winter can be much more challenging than driving at other times of the year. Now that the clocks have gone back and the dark nights are upon us again, that means more hours of darkness, and probably most of you will be driving to and from work in the dark. You will also be using the heaters and demisters which all adds up to more strain on your battery.
Driving advice for winter
Make sure your battery is in good condition The daylight hours are short during the winter months, for most of us this means our daily drive to and from work is often in the dark, also as the temperatures drop we will be using our car heaters and demisters , all of this puts considerable extra load on your cars battery.
Some vehicles may be more difficult to start during the colder weather.
Try to avoid leaving electrical systems on for longer than necessary, turn the fan down and the heated rear window off once all of your windows have cleared
If your car doesn’t start on the first turn of the key, wait 30 seconds before trying again, and each time you turn the key do it in short 5 second bursts , holding the starter motor on is a good way to drain your battery quickly. Turn off things like wipers, lights and fans before turning the key.
Tyre Tread DepthThe condition of your tyres is important at all times of year, but even more so during the winter months, whilst the legal limit for tread depth is 1.6 mm, during winter months it is probably better to have a bit more than this .If you do a lot of winter driving then you could consider a set of winter tyres, these are tyres specifically made for use in cold conditions, they are made of a type of rubber which doesn’t harden in the cold.
Very important that you can see clearly, make sure that all snow and ice is removed from all windows and lights, also make sure that there is not a big pile of snow on top of your car waiting to slide forward over your windscreen,
Check that your windscreen washer bottle is full and that it contains a suitable screen wash to prevent it freezing up.
You will need to use your headlights more during winter, make sure that they are clean and working correctly.
Fog lights should only be used when visibility has reduced to 100 metres or less, using fog lights unnecessarily can dazzle the drivers behind you.
Make sure that your cooling system has the correct mixture of anti freeze, this is essential to prevent your radiator freezing up, which can cause considerable and expensive damage.
The correct antifreeze mix will also help keep your engine cool in summer, and it will also help with lubricating your water pump, and also helps prevent corrosion in the cooling system.
The best advice is if the weather is too bad the best thing to do is stay at home
Breakdown cover is essential if travelling far from home or on motorways, read our guide explaining different types of cover available.
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