7 Tips on How to Winter-Proof Your Car
Winter can be a lovely time: Brisk walks in the frosty air, cosy firesides, and, of course, Christmas. But trying to keep moving safely on the road, whether in a hire car or your own, is not much fun when the temperatures dip. Follow our simple tips to keep your wheels rolling in the right direction this winter. (And remember, if you do need to rent a car this winter, Nova’s suppliers will always provide you with a quality, well-maintained vehicle) :
Fit Winter Tyres
A good set of winter tyres is a solid investment in your car’s mobility and safety. They will improve your car’s ability to negotiate slippery surfaces to such an extent that a regular 2-wheel drive car fitted with winter tyres will stop and corner more reliably than a 4×4 with regular tyres.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
A myth persists that reducing tyre pressure improves grip by increasing the scale of the tyre’s contact with the road. The AA confirms, however, that this does not work, and, in fact, reduces stability. Inflate your tyres to the advised PSI level.
Keep an Emergency Kit in the Car
If your car does break down you need to be prepared. Keep extra engine oil (cars use considerably more in cold weather), a spare tyre, spare windscreen wiper blades, an ice scraper blade, washer fluid, a warning triangle, tyre pump, jump leads, torch, and salt in your car boot. Extra clothing such as socks, gloves, and a woolly hat should also be packed.
Change Your Wiper Blades
With darker days and snowy or wet weather, visibility is limited in winter, and faulty windscreen wipers merely move the dirt across the glass rather than remove it. Ensure you have sufficient wiper fluid too, to help keep the glass clean.
Check Oil, Anti-Freeze & Coolant
Your radiator should have an equal of coolant to water, allowing the water to remain liquid well below freezing point. Cars burn far more oil in the cold, so make sure levels are topped up.
Check the Battery
Cold weather makes your engine work harder, which puts more pressure on your battery. This means it consumes more fuel, which means it is more liable to run flat. It’s a good idea to keep a battery charger in the car in case it does run down.
Keep Your Car Clean
Giving your car a good clean and wax will protect the bodywork from the muck and slush that winter roads pile on every time you drive. It will also make it easier to remove any ice and snow that accumulate. You might also consider oiling your door hinges and handles to avoid being locked out if they freeze up.