Lockdown may soon be easing for many of us and with the possibility of travel during December, we’ve got some useful tips for driving during the festive month
Brrr! December can be a very cold month with heavy snow fog and ice conditions. As we select our winter wardrobe to protect us from the chills make sure that your vehicle is prepared for winter too. You don’t want to get stranded when travelling, so consider planning ahead and be winter-ready for whatever the north wind brings.
It is a legal requirement that you can see when driving and all snow and ice must be cleared from your windows (check your highway code). Don’t be the driver peeping out of a misty circle or hanging out of the window!
- Don’t forget the roof too, no one wants a sheet of snow and ice landing on their screen or on the vehicle behind. A good tip is to spray de-icer the night before to help prevent ice building up.
- Clear the windscreen both inside and out. Don’t set off until the windscreen is fully demisted.
- Make sure that your wipers aren’t worn or damaged and don’t put them on until you screen is completely clear or you will risk scratches on the windscreen.
- Carry a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle which will help with any glare from snow and ice.
- Make sure you have a window scraper.Keep de-icer both in and out of the car
Never been beneath the car bonnet? Now might be the time to reconsider and know how to make a few essential checks.
- Change your oil before winter. Dirty oil becomes viscose in cold weather and won’t flow smoothly through the engine.
- Don’t forget to check that your engine coolant level is between the minimum and maximum mark.
- Keep your battery topped up and charged. If your car is not being used consider an overnight charge to maintain it.
- A 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water added to the water in the engine’s cooling system will reduce the risk of a frozen or cracked engine.
- Consider winter or all-season tyres if the weather is particularly bad for any length of time. These provide a better grip and help with shorter stopping distances.
- Check your tyres for any cracks or splits and don’t forget to check the tyre depth. In snowy conditions this is 3mm of tread to help with traction.
- Have you got the correct pressures in your tyres? Consult your vehicle manual or go online. It is worth investing in a kit to keep at home too.
- Store a piece of carpet or an old sack in the vehicle. If you get stuck in snow or ice, place this under the wheels to give them extra grip and enable you to move away.
Don’t forget to keep your distance from other road users when driving in difficult conditions. Pedestrians and cyclists may be less visible too if the weather is bad. Drive slowly and be gentle when braking and ideally don’t have the sound system too loud; make sure that you can hear what is going on outside the car.
Wherever you are travelling this December everyone at A1 Clutches hopes that you have a comfortable and stress-free journey. Stay safe and take great care.