Winter can be a dangerous time for drivers as the road conditions and visibility become more treacherous with the worsening weather. Cold, ice and rain are just some of the things that can affect the performance of your vehicle on the road, so it’s important that your van or car is ready to deal with the winter when it hits.
There are often several myths and fables that emerge about winter driving and at Vision Vauxhall we want to make sure you have the right information before setting out on your journey. Below you will find a selection of dos and don’ts for winter driving.
1. Do not pour boiling water onto your frozenwindscreen.
The extreme change in temperature could lead to the glass cracking. To protect your windscreen from frost you should place a cover on it the night before, preventing ice from forming.
2. Do not reduce the air pressure of your tyres.
This does not increase grip and stability on snow and ice. You need to make sure your tyre pressures are kept at the recommended level before every journey and you can do this by using a tyre inflator or foot pump.
3. Do not try to open windows when they are frozen.
This can damage the motors, trim and glass, which will be very costly to fix. Use de-icer to clear the frost and don’t open them until they are completely clear.
4. Do replace your wipers when they get worn.
There are all sorts of old wives’ tales about vinegar and other liquids that will help your wipers to run smoothly. The only way to be completely sure that they will clear your windscreen is to buy new ones.
5. Do clear all the snow from your car.
The police can fine you if you are driving around with snow on your roof or windscreen, because it contravenes the Highway Code. This means you need to make sure you clear the whole car before you set off.
6. Do equip your car with winter tyres.
When the temperature drops below 7oC winter tyres start to perform better than summer or all-weather tyres. This is because they are made from a different type of rubber that adapts to work in the cold more effectively. The tread pattern is also slightly different so that it shifts water away faster, providing you with better grip in the rain.
7. Do fit snow belts or chains to your wheels.
Using a rear-wheel drive car in the snow can be dangerous but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. By applying snow belts, chains or socks to your rear wheels you will improve the traction dramatically.
8. Don’t dazzle other road users.
While it’s obviously important to have excellent visibility in poor weather conditions, it’s also important that you don’t dazzle others. A dipped headlight beam should be enough to light up the road around you, so only use your full beam and fog lights when it is really bad.
9. Don’t disconnect the battery.
Protecting the battery from the cold can be difficult, but if you disconnect it after every journey you will lose alarm power and could damage the computer memory. Just make sure you keep it topped up with a charger.
10. Do stick to the busier roads.
During bad weather it is important to stay on the roads that are gritted and busy. Not only will you have better driving conditions but you will also have other motorists around if you do run into trouble.
To make sure your vehicle is fully prepared for winter you should get it checked over by a manufacturer-approved dealer. Vision Vauxhall has manufacturer-trained technicians working at our state-of-the-art service centre to deliver exactly what your vehicle needs. You can find out more information about the aftersales services that we offer here or alternatively, don’t hesitate to contact us today.