Two out of the last three winters have seen widespread snow and ice for weeks on end with temperatures regularly falling below -10C.
Winter conditions present us with a plethora of driving dangers from the low afternoon sun to black ice but if you follow these simple tips you can minimize the danger:
Invest in polarizing sunglasses that will take the glare off the sun. Blinding glare caused by a low sun or by bright light reflecting off snow, puddles, the car in front or even your own bonnet can be lethal particularly when driving at speed. Glare is frequently cited as the cause of RTAs but the right pair of sunglasses can prevent this.
Drive according to the conditions. Allow extra time to get to your destination so you can match your speed to the road & at least double the distance between you & the car in front.
Driving in wet conditions is hazardous, even modern road surfaces are susceptible to standing water causing aqua-plaining (when your tyres loose contact with the road & you lose steering control) & reducing visibility. Drive slowly through standing water & if your steering becomes unresponsive ease off the accelerator & slow down gradually. If you breakdown in heavy rain don’t pop the bonnet while you wait to be recovered as the engine will be more difficult to start if its rain soaked.
As well as the safety aspect of driving through water it can also cause expensive damage to your car. The air intake on many cars is low down & it only takes a small amount of water sucked in to the engine to cause serious damage especially to catalytic convertors, turbo charged & diesel engines.
Make sure your car is ready for winter.
Antifreeze – check the level regularly & top up when required. We can check the concentration to make sure you have adequate protection
Battery – The most common breakdown cause is a dead battery. Batteries more than 5 years old may struggle in the cold we can check & replace your battery to make sure you don’t get caught out on those cold winter mornings.
Fuel – Keep at least a quarter of a tank in case of unexpected delays.
Lights – Check your bulbs all work regularly. We stock a wide range of bulbs & can replace them for you in under 5 minutes.
Tyres – Tyres should have at least 3mm of tread for winter driving, when you’re checking don’t forget to check your spare too. We do great deals on tyres so if they’re low replace them before it’s too late. Don’t forget that having the wrong pressure in your tyres can not only be dangerous but can increase your fuel consumption too.
Windscreen – reduce dazzle by keeping it clean inside & out. Use a good quality screen wash & renew your wiper blades when they’re worn. We stock most wiper blades & can show you how to change them yourself in the future.
Locks & door seal – Use a thin coat of polish or Vaseline on rubber door seals to stop them freezing shut. A squirt of WD-40 in your lock can stop it freezing up.