While we all hope for a gentle Winter unfortunately sharp weather changes – frost, snow and cold weather can affect your car meaning maintenance may be necessary.
The team here at Whichcar.ie have a few tips to help you keep your car in perfect working order and avoid a cold wait on the side of the road
1) Check your tyres: You’ve heard it before but your tyres are the only point of contact between your car and the road so it is so important to make sure they are safe and Winter ready. Firstly check your tyre pressure and ensure all tyres are inflated properly, secondly check your thread depth. The legal minimum thread depth is 1.6mm but it is advisable to change your tyres before they reach this depth. Your tyre grip is essential for safe driving in wet or cold conditions – a decent thread depth & correct tyre pressure can help this.
2) Use your lights: This might seem common sense but the addition of dipped headlights can help make you more visible to other motorists during the day. You should also regularly check that your headlights & taillights are working correctly.
3) Optimize your visibility: If you drive early in the morning i.e. drive to School or work before 9am you should get into the habit of leaving an extra few minutes aside each morning to de-ice/de-fog your car before driving. There are tools you can use such as an ice-scraper or a de-icer solution to remove ice build-up quickly. We don’t advise the use of hot or boiling water, although it Is quick it can cause cracks in your windscreen due to the harsh change in temperature.
It is also good habit to regularly check your wiper blades & make sure your washer systems are in good-working order.
4) Have a Winter-Essentials Kit in your boot: The Whichcar.ie team are strong believers in always keeping a few Winter essentials in your boot in case of emergencies. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry.
- High visibility vest
- A hazard warning triangle
- A spare wheel
- De-icing equipment (De-icer solution & an ice-scraper)
- First-Aid kit
- A blanket, spare coat, hat & gloves
- A fire extinguisher
- A working torch
- A tow rope
5) Beware of "Black Ice": Black Ice is one of the biggest hazards of Winter driving. It is usually clear and very difficult to see. A general rule when you drive onto Black Ice is to remain calm and do as little as possible. Do not hit the brakes and try to keep your steering wheel straight. If you feel the back of your car sway to the left or right just gently steer in that direction.
6) Keep a safe distance: Wet and cold weather conditions affect your braking distance so it is vital to drive slower and leave additional space between your vehicle and the closest car in front.
7) Check if your vehicle has additional features that could help: Make sure you know all the extra safety features your car may have. Many newer cars have safety assist systems such as Electronic Stability Control or an Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS). Learn about these systems and how they can help you.
8) Keep up-to-date with your servicing: A very easy tip to make sure your car is in top working order is to stay up-to-date with your vehicle health checks and annual car servicing. All of the dealerships listed on Whichcar.ie have full aftersales departments with many offering free Vehicle Health Checks (VHC’s). Taking your vehicle to a brand approved aftersales provider guarantees your car will get the best service possible.
Remember if you have any worries about your vehicle this Winter get it checked by an authorised service centre.
The team here at Whichcar.ie hope you found our top 8 Winter driving tips helpful.