Car journeys in the current Arctic conditions can be made a lot less hazardous if you follow a few simple steps to prepare your car.
Here is some practical advice on how to ‘winterise’ your vehicle:
Tyres – ensure your tyres are inflated correctly and that you have a minimum of 3mm of tread on your tyres to cope with wet and slippery conditions. Always carry some old bits of carpet or cat litter, to put under the tyres when stuck and a shovel to clear snow.
Battery – in winter, the battery will run down quicker than in warmer weather. Make sure you do a regular long journey to top it up or trickle-charge the battery.
Engine – modern engines are more robust than older ones. All the same, depress the clutch when starting as this will reduce drag on the engine when starting, and preserve the battery.
Screenwash – keep this topped up and use a proper additive at the right concentration to prevent it freezing.
Emergency Snow Kit – always keep the following to hand: jump leads, cat litter or sand, shovel, ice scrapper, fully charged mobile phone, warm clothes, torch, food and water, first aid kit, sturdy boots, food and water.
Fuel – keep your tank topped up, that way if you are caught out, you’ll have enough fuel to make it home or run the engine to keep warm. However, it’s essential to keep snow from blocking the exhaust as noxious fumes can leak into the vehicle.
Windows – clear all snow and ice from the windscreen before driving. Don’t use water to de-ice windscreens. Hot water can crack the glass, and the water will only freeze again on the screen or on the ground where you’re standing.
Locks – a squirt of WD-40 will prevent your door locks freezing up.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team