6 simple ways to get you and your car ready for winter
Okay, so no-one wants to admit it, but we are going into the colder months of autumn and winter, and we need to prepare to stay safe and keep our cars in good working order!
Here are some top tips to help stay safe this winter
- Drive Well
No matter how ready you think your car is for the winter, if you do not drive with caution then you are still at risk. Ensure you leave extra time for your journeys so you don’t need to rush in poor weather and don’t be tempted to speed when visibility is bad and the roads are wet or icy. Remember to leave extra stopping space between you and the car in front and be aware of how the wind can affect your steering. Never speed in wintry weather, you may not get caught, but the black ice could catch you and lead to you skidding out of control.
- Check your tyre tread and pressure
Check your tyres are properly inflated to ensure you have the best possible traction as you drive along - traction is often jeopardized in wet, snowy or icy conditions. The pressure in your tyres will be likely to drop as the weather gets colder, so it’s important to see where things stand now. (You can normally presume that around 1 pound per square inch is lost whenever the temperature drops by 10 degrees Fahrenheit.) Again, your trusty owner’s manual will tell you what your target tyre pressure should be or pointoto Jet Wheel Tyre and we will sort it for you.
- Make sure you can see
When’s the last time you replaced your wiper blades? Wiper blades need replacing if you are getting smudges on the wind screen; you need to be able to see when visibility is dramatically reduced by the weather, whether it’s the low sun hitting your windscreen or the hail of a downpour.
Here’s another important tip to take note of before you find yourself struggling to see in a blinding rain storm: Fill up your windshield washer with washer fluid. (Plain water won’t do the trick at this time of year because it freezes, so maybe add a little bit more concentrate solution to make it even less likely to freeze.) Also check to see that your heater and defroster are working properly so you can keep the windshield nice and clear.
- Give your battery a little TLC.
Cold and damp weather is a battery killer! The start of winter is the ideal time to check your battery is corrosion-free and is charging as it should. Here at Jet Wheel Tyre we have a machine that we can plug in and give a detailed printed report to see the health of your battery. If your battery is more than three years old we advised to have the battery tested. Granted, you might be able to find a Good Samaritan to help you jump-start your car at 6am when you’re trying to get off to work — but wouldn’t you rather avoid such a scenario altogether?
- Prepare an emergency kit.
Store this stuff in your boot during the winter months, especially if a road trip is in your future:
- Warm clothes
- a warm blanket
- de-icer and scraper
- battery jump leads
- first aid kit
- Even a small shovel if you have room!
- a torch
Don’t forget your sunglasses so that the low winter sun doesn’t make it difficult to see the road, and ensure your phone is fully charged before you set off.
- Think about switching to winter tyres.
If you drive frequently in the winter, then consider buying a set of winter tyres. They improve traction when the temperature drops before seven degrees and in the snow and ice. They are not cheap, but they can be worth the investment for additional safety on the road.
If you do not want the extra cost of winter tyres, checking the tread depth of your existing tyres regularly is important. The legal limit is 1.6mm, but having more than this can dramatically improve your steering and braking distance.