Monday, 26 January 2015

doing winter checks on the car

Hi all, apologies for radio silence recently but I've been totally stressing with snow and ice on the roads and still having to drive the kids about (if anyone fancies getting me a chauffeur I'm up for it), and I've also been in and out of the garage after someone accidentally bumped my car. Happily I've seen lots of friends at the garage - seems it's the place to be at the moment! So I was very happy to hear from Ross Miller at Point S tyres who is providing a guest post today, all about winter safety checks on the car, to help make sure you're driving safely. Over to Ross

Winter Safety Checks

Hi Everyone! I’m Ross Miller, a car enthusiast! I love to drive and realize the risks involved in addition to all the fun and excitement! I hope this post will help everyone to stay out of trouble by performing these basic safety checks!

Setting off on a journey in winter can mean hopping into the car and getting going as quickly as possible – after all who wants to hang around beforehand to make sure everything is in good working order? However, a few safety checks done at the weekend, during the day when the light is good, can mean that your car is in better condition for those cold, early morning starts. 

It might be tricky to carry out checks in this weather. Thanks to Ross for the picture.

Just a few minutes spent on winter safety checks can save you plenty of time should a problem develop when you are motoring about. Add to this the thousands of pounds you can save from dealing with problems early and the reasons for doing so stand up for themselves. But what checks should drivers be making? 

  • Always ensure the heating is working properly so that your windscreen clears quickly and efficiently, allowing you to see road obstacles more clearly. Check all of the electrical functions of your car, paying particular attention to the indicators, dipped and main beam as well as your fog light.
  • Top up the screen wash fluid regularly because in the winter months you are more likely to run out than in summer as more dirt is picked up from the road.
  • Keep a can of anti-freeze in the car to help you clear mirrors, windows and the windscreen from snow and ice on cold days. According to the RAC, engine anti-freeze helps with corrosion build up but the right product must always be selected.
  • Check your car's brake pads once in a while because during winter you are likely to brake that bit harder than in summer, when it is easier to see upcoming problems on the road ahead. There are many ways to do this, but one of the basic ways is to look for the brake pad through the wheel and once you've found it, you can check the thickness of the pad, if it has considerably thinned down, it's time for replacing the brake pads. 
  • Inspect the tread of your car's tyre and make sure you are street legal, especially in snowy conditions when additional traction is essential. Point-S Glasgow recommends winter tyres, which have a rubber compound designed for lower temperatures, for people who regularly drive in icy weather.
  • Never allow your battery to run down, which is a distinct possibility in cold weather when more demand is put on it from the heater and windscreen wipers, particularly if you only make short journeys. Run your car on a longer trip to charge it up.
  • According to the AA, door seals and locks can seal up in very low temperatures, so check yours are adequately polished or have a coat of petroleum jelly to stop them seizing when sub-zero conditions prevail.


Cara again... As I write, my car is in the garage, but when I get it back I am so doing these checks, and especially the Vaseline thing (hopefully it'll avoid snapping the door opening mechanism again). Thanks to Ross for all this.

What are your tips for winter driving? I always travel with wellies and a great big blanket in the car, just in case.