Cold Weather Tips
Category : Uncategorised
1. Fit Cold Weather tyres on all four wheels
- Fitting Cold Weather tyres to the front axle can mean that the rear axle slides more easily. You risk spinning the vehicle under acceleration (rear wheel drive cars) or when negotiating bends (front or rear wheel drive).
- Fitting only two Cold Weather tyres on the rear axle increases the risk of driving straight on when you try to take a bend.
2. Inflating tyres in winter
When it gets colder, your tyre pressure drops. If a tyre is inflated to 2 bar (29psi) at 20°C, for example, the pressure may only read 1.8 bar (26psi) at 0°C. If your tyre pressures are low when you check them in cold weather, re-inflate them to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations.
- When setting your pressures with cold tyres (tyre temperature at the outside ambient temperature), set them to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended pressures.
- If you set your pressures in a warm garage or workshop, add 0.2 bar (3psi) to the vehicle manufacturers’ recommended pressures. This will ensure that you compensate for the cold temperature and run at the correct pressures.
3. Car maintenance in winter
The best time to prepare your vehicle for the cold months ahead is when winter is around the corner. If you’ve ever driven when there’s snow, ice, loose gravel and salt on the road, you know what they can do to your vehicle. Small scratches turn to rust, your heater gets a working out that it’s probably not prepared for, and your windshield must deal with the thermal shock of a freezing exterior and the extreme opposite stress of a very warm interior. If possible, cover your windscreen overnight during in the winter months (a good tip is to use newspaper).
A small ‘ding’ in your windscreen can, in extreme weather, turn into a major crack. So repair your windshield whenever possible before winter sets in. Or you might have to go through the expense of replacing it. Driving conditions are already poor in winter, so make sure you prevent poor visibility by checking your windscreen wiper blades.
If you’ve ever driven soon after a gritter has come though to melt the ice and snow, then you’ll know how important it is to have winter screenwash. Make sure your windscreen washer bottle is kept full and in good working order. Windscreens can whiten very quickly by salt being thrown up onto them. A good tip here is not to dilute the screenwash fluid with water: it can freeze during harsh winter temperatures.
- Check the state of your battery frequently; low temperatures can cause it to discharge.
- Check that the oil in your engine is suited to your car and the conditions.
- Wash your car regularly to protect the bodywork and tyres from corrosion due to the salt on the roads.
- Check your brakes. It’s dangerous to drive with poorly maintained brakes.
- Check your lights. There are a lot of long nights ahead.