18 October 2012|
Last winter Britain was subject to the Big Freeze. The national media coined this term to reflect the record low temperatures since met office recordings began with a notable 76cm deep peak district snowfall. The AA’s worked overtime on Britain’s roads, rescuing stranded drivers in unfriendly conditions. Driver safety is tied to the successful maintenance of the car and the Highways Agency recommends a full service before the winter season. Numerous dangers arise from icy roads, clouded visibility and unpredictable weather. The vehicle maintenance must cover cooling systems and brake pads, steering mobility, and the manufacturers recommended tyre tread.
Here are some top tips which you can personally do, to protect your vehicle during winter.
Wipers Blades – These need to be operating flawlessly to ensure to ensure maximum visibility during heavy snowfall or rain. A new set of blades should see you through the winter spell but should be checked afterwards to ensure they are not subject to wear and tear. The wiper bottle requires washer liquid instead of plain water to prevent freezing.
Tyres – If temperatures drop below 10 degrees tyre pressures often increase which strengthens the case for more meticulous maintenance during winter. Tyre checks may also identify embedded nails which may lead to a puncture. Each manufacturer has recommended levels for the Psi level but the vehicle must have at least a 3mm tread depth. Tyres provide traction against slippery roads.
Bulbs & Lights – The rear car lights will not be visible to you whilst driving so you must check them when maintaining the tyres. Full strength lights will prevent any visibility issues.
Battery – A car battery life on older vehicles is generally around 2-4 years, check the battery life before the winter season starts is recommended low battery charge dies in the winter.
Mirrors & Windows – These must be kept fully demisted to ensure visibility. Snow can fall from the roof and temporarily blind vision; this must be cleared before driving.
Radiator – The vehicle radiator should be fitted with antifreeze to prevent the water freezing.
Emergency Contingency – Use the glove box to secure emergency food supplies, torches, batters and blankets. High visibility vests can also be stored in the rear of the car along with larger items such as spare shoes. The kit list should also include jump leads boots and de-icer.