Does your vehicle tick these four Winter check boxes?
At this time of year, we would usually be giving customers advice on Winter checks they can make to their vehicles in advance of driving far and wide to see friends and family in wet or icy condition. Cue Chris Rea’s 'Driving home for Christmas' here! Who knows how ‘far and wide’ we’ll be going this year. But it is still worth making sure you don’t get caught out by the Winter weather so we’ve pulled together four top tips:
In the scheme of things this really isn’t a big cost. But rather than buy the real stuff, lots of people are tempted to top up with water or even washing up liquid. The problem with that is that if the temperature drops then water can freeze in the wash reservoir or jets. And washing up liquid is really not suitable for use on cars. It contains chemicals that can damage paintwork and other metallic surfaces. Plus, like water, it offers absolutely no protection against freezing, leaving you without protection when the temperature drops.
You can use a 20 pence piece to make sure that your tyres have sufficient tread (1.6mm). Stick the coin in the tyre’s groove. If the outer band of the coin is obscured by the tyre, then they are OK. But in Winter, we’d recommend a minimum tread of 3mm to make sure that your tyres have the necessary grip for the more difficult conditions. And do pay particular attention to your front tyres as they are responsible for all the steering and the majority of the breaking.
Save yourself the last minute scrabbling about for something that can be used to scrape your windscreen by making sure you have a scraper in the car. Plus some de-icer. And our other tip, call us controversial, sunglasses! The low Winter sun can cause glare, particularly when the road is wet or icy.
Large puddles/standing water
We’ve had a lot of rain lately, so we thought we’d throw in this last tip in case you have to navigate any large or deep puddles. Whenever possible, our advice would be to find another way round. But it all else fails then please go slowly. Just an egg cup’s worth of water could wreck your engine. And if you drive too quickly you can cause a wave which makes the water level even higher. Once you clear the water do test your brakes as soon as possible.
If you’d like any help – or a professional opinion – with these checks. Or anything else relating to your vehicle then please do get in touch. We’d be delighted to help.