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Is your car ready for winter?
Dont wait until the weather gets bad be prepared. Its surprising how many people dont know what to do in bad weather so we have put together a little check list that will help.
Your tyres should have more than 3mm tread and definitely no less than 2mm. Check your tyre pressure is correct for stability in bad weather.
Make sure your windscreen washers are full and use suitable additive to prevent freezing. Check your wipers and replace if worn.
Make sure your lights are clean and all bulbs are in working order.
Check your antifreeze, check your handbook as its important to use the right type of antifreeze in your radiator and avoid mixing different types.
If you have an old battery it may be worth replacing as winter driving is a strain on any battery as you use your lights, heater and wipers a lot more and tend to get stuck in a lot of traffic jams.
Always keep your fuel topped up in case you do get stuck in traffic.
Make yourself a winter kit to take with you in your car
Blanket-for if you do get stuck
De-icer and scraper - you may have cleared your windows to start your journey but dont forget you have to get back again
Mobile phone and charger – at least this way you can call for help
Sat nav or an atlas - in case any roads are closed
Torch and batteries
Warm clothing and waterproof boots
Some old rug or sack - for if you do get stuck in snow
Breakdown down membership card
Starting your journey
Leave earlier – When the weather gets bad make sure you leave the house earlier so you have plenty time to make sure all your windows are cleared properly.
When starting your engine make sure all other electrics are switched off (lights, heaters wipers). If your engine doesnt start straight away leave 30 seconds between attempts.
Avoid using electrics that arent essential, turn off your window heaters once your windows are clear.
Tips for driving in bad weather
Always remember stopping distance increase tenfold in snow and ice
Make sure you are wearing dry comfortable driving shoes as wet boots will slip on the pedals.
If driving in snow and ice be prepared for what is up ahead. On hills if possible wait until the hill is clear of other cars if possible to avoid having to stop part way. Make sure you are in the correct gear, if you are going downhill use a low gear and try to avoid having to use your brakes. If you are going uphill try and use a constant speed.
If you do get stuck in snow straighten your wheels, clear away the snow and using some old rug or sack in front of your wheels for them to grip.
Pulling away in 2nd gear and easing of the clutch gently will help avoid wheel spins.
Last but probably most importantly ask yourself if you really need to make the journey as when conditions are really bad no journey is the safest choice.