Winter is without doubt, the most testing season of the year for new and learner drivers to stay safe whilst on the roads.
The number of breakdown call outs and accidents more than doubles in the winter months due to the challenging conditions when snow and ice set in.
There are a number of things you can do to minimise the effects of the cold on your car to ensure you are as safe as possible on the roads.
Batteries & Electrics
- Avoid overusing electrics when possible by turning off non-essential electrical devices such as the heated rear window (when it’s safe to do so)
- If you don’t use your car at the weekends, then a good tip is to start the car on a Sunday night to ensure it starts on Monday morning without a problem.
- If your car won’t start first time, use the ignition in 5 second bursts and at 30 second intervals. This gives the battery recovery time between attempts, and reduces the chances of burning out the starter motor.
- Antifreeze only costs a few pounds, which is minimal when compared to the potential costs of replacing a cracked engine block due to the rapid temperature change. So remember to regularly check your antifreeze on a weekly basis over the cold months.
- Also, ensure you use a 50:50 split of antifreeze to water to ensure maximum engine protection.
- You may have heard rumours that reducing tyre pressure will help the car to grip the road better, however, this does not work, and only reduces stability.
- We would recommend investing in a set of all season or snow tyres, as they work better than summer tyers as they contain a higher level of “silica” in the compound, which prevents the rubber from becoming brittle in the cold, allowing to grip the road better.
Last Minute Winter Tips
- Give yourself an extra 10 – 15 minutes in the morning to prepare your car.
- Use this time to plan a route to use main roads, as they are more likely to be cleared.
- Put safety before punctuality, and prepare for being late as unexpected delays become more frequent.
- Use 2nd Gear when setting off to avoid wheel spinning
- Break gently, and if you do start to skid, release the break and use a low gear to slow the car while maintaining traction.