As soon as the weather changes and a cold snap occurs an increase in the number of accidents and breakdowns typically occurs. This is often the result of underlying issues with the car itself which may affect its handling, any such issues become more apparent during adverse weather conditions.
Winter weather brings additional challenges for drivers - low temperatures mean that all components of the vehicle must work harder; for example, the battery is under strain and is therefore less efficient, all parts of the car become colder and harder including the rubber components and fluids. Driving itself also becomes more difficult as visibility is poorer – this may be due to darkness, low sunlight and the glare on the road - especially on wet surfaces, slippery roads covered in ice, excessive rain, wind, snow and sleet, can all make driving more difficult.
Ensuring that your vehicle is fully prepared for the cold weather and taking into consideration that the vehicle may handle differently in adverse conditions, can all help to prevent accidents and breakdowns which ultimately result in being stranded at the side of the road, waiting for roadside recovery followed by inconvenient and often costly, subsequent repairs.
Although it may sound obvious, always assess the driving conditions before heading out and adjust your journey accordingly. It may be necessary to allow extra travel time onto journeys.
Ensure you are well equipped for a winter journey, by taking de-icer, a working mobile phone and charger, jackets, a torch, sturdy footwear and a shovel if snow is forecast.
Car batteries operate optimally during the summer months, during extreme cold weather however, it can make them less efficient and reliable. If the engine won’t start on a cold day, it usually means that either the battery is flat or that the starter motor is stuck. If the battery is failing, this typically means that it is reaching end of life or that the alternator is not charging it properly.
Coolant and screen wash should be topped up to the manufacturer’s recommended levels and contain enough anti-freeze – cold conditions require a greater quantity of anti-freeze. Screen wash should also be good quality as the windscreen can become easily smeared with dirt in the winter months, hindering visibility.
The oil levels should always be checked and topped up accordingly – this is especially important before venturing out on a long trip.
All 4 tyres must have a minimum of 3mm tread depth and should be correctly inflated to ensure they have a good grip with the road surface, something especially important during wet and icy conditions.
Worn or faulty brakes are extremely dangerous at any time of year, if there is any doubt regarding the safety of the brakes, any usual sounds, or a spongy brake pedal feel, they should be checked out immediately.
It remains surprisingly common for people to run out of fuel – an experience which becomes even more unpleasant during the winter months.
Our Bosch accredited Service Station provides car servicing, general maintenance, and repairs – all work is carried out by our fully trained technicians using the very latest equipment. We are available to offer advice and accurate information regarding any issues you may be experiencing. For more information on our car servicing and repairs, get in touch today.