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Tips to ensure your vehicle can deal with the damp and cold conditions.
Wet and cold weather starting and driving conditions oblige a much greater burden on the car of SUV vehicle’s battery particularly on short journeys when the charging system doesn’t have time to change the battery power exhausted when using the headlamps, heating the vehicle and de-misting the windscreen.
To help to avoid breaking down the following simple checks are carried out:
• Check you have enough fuel for your journey. Vehicles use more fuel when driving in heavy traffic and the stop/start conditions often found in the winter time traffic.
• Check oil and water levels in your vehicle and ensure you use the correct concentration of antifreeze. Antifreeze includes additives that avoid corrosion of the engine’s cooling system. (If corrosion takes place this can slush up the passageways and cause costly engine damage).
• Check the condition of your car or SUVs battery. Connections should be tight and free from corrosion. Once verified and cleaned spread the terminals with petroleum jelly to guard them.
• Check your tire pressure and tread depth - and don’t forget the spare. The existing minimum legal tread depth for cars and light commercial vehicles is 1.6mm. (The greater the tread depth the more capable tire is of clearing water in its path and providing grip in snow, making driving in poor conditions safer). pittsburgh tire rotation service is really commendable.
• Check your car or SUVs windscreen. Increase the length your screen’s life by having chips or cracks patched up.
• Check headlights and indicators of your car or SUV. Make sure lenses are free from damage and are kept clean to ensure you can see and be seen.
• Check front and rear wiper blades for wear or splitting. Use screen wash additive to help maintain a clear screen but don’t use washing up liquid as this contains additives that will attack the paintwork and can cause corrosion.
• Make sure of the condition of your car key as a worn out key may cause the lock to jam. Swapping the battery in your key fob to maintain working performance.
• Check you have sufficient breakdown cover, since not all breakdowns are preventable.
To prevent the vehicle door from freezing shut during the night, spray a silicone cover such as furniture polish around the seal of the door before closing it and keep in mind, a vehicle left out in the rain and cold is more susceptible to damp linked breakdowns so if you have a garage, make use of it.
Also when you get in to your vehicle, consider to make sure your engine is running to make sure your car or SUV battery is charging before switching on any lights, heaters or any other electrical systems. Switching these on before starting your engine can use up the battery and leave you trapped.
What to carry in your car or SUV:
• Make sure you have a fully charged mobile phone.
• Take a container of good quality de-icer and a windscreen scraper and consider keeping a lock de-icer in the house to make sure you can gain access to your vehicle if the locks freeze shut.
• Take some high-energy food like chocolate or boiled sweets. Carrying a thermos flask of hot soup is suggested on longer journeys.
• Wrap up warm and take a blanket, rainproof clothing and sensible footwear.
• Take a torch and spare batteries.
• Keep an extra pair of rubber mats in the boot to help your tires to grip if you find yourself caught in snow.
• Keep a set of jump leads in your boot in case the battery goes off - but make sure you follow the instructions in the vehicle manufacturer’s instruction manual before jump starting your vehicle as inaccurate use could cause damage.
• Check if you have your breakdown membership card/details with you.
Tips to make your winter journey as safe as possible include:
• In harsh weather conditions, just make trips that are extremely necessary.
• Make sure the windscreen wipers are not ice-covered to the screen prior to you get into your vehicle as failure to do so could cause the wiper motor to fuse leaving you incapable to clear your screen.
• Use a windscreen scraper or a de-icer to get rid of ice from each window on your vehicle. Do not use warm water as this may possibly cause the windscreen to break. Carry a key de-icer with you to clear your lock.
• Use the car or SUV vehicle’s air conditioning to facilitate speed up the de-misting of your windscreen.
• Set aside at least 10 minutes for your vehicle to defrost thoroughly prior to setting off.
• Plan your journey and, in severe climate conditions use major routes which are more likely to have been salted or gritted.
• Don’t drive if tired. Make sure you take regular comfort breaks.
• Remember to allow more time to brake and accelerate. Leave more room between you and the car in front.
• If you do breakdown, make sure you know where you are and, to help to locate you, on motorways where possible use the orange colored SOS phones to call for assistance.
• In the occurrence of a breakdown on the motorway, follow the safety guidance given.
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