Driving in snow can be a real challenge for the majority of drivers and can lead to accidents. When this in mind, it’s crucial that you are prepared before making a journey in the snow. It is worth knowing how to prepare your car, while also considering the different ways to approach you’re driving when faced with the winter conditions. If you are worried that your car is getting old and might not be able to handle the winter, but, you cannot afford a new one before the cold snap hits, then why not look into car leasing? You would be able to get a brand new car with all the latest tech and pay for the lease on a monthly basis. But, whether you have a new car or an older one, it’s a good idea to know what precautions to take when driving in snow.
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Plan Your Journeys In Advance
Planning your journeys is even more important when driving in snow. On days where bad weather is predicted, we only advise driving if it is absolutely essential, especially if your journey involves driving through rural areas. If you do need to travel, then research your route well in advance of leaving home. Also check your local news and Google Maps for traffic updates as there might be delays that will affect your travel.
Allow For More Time
You should always allow for more time when it comes to driving in snow. This will give you time to clear your car’s windows, lights and mirror and ensure that all snow is removed from the roof. You will also need to clear your windscreen with de-icer before you set off including clearing the inside of the windscreen too. Remember, it’s against the law in the UK to drive without full visibility through all of your car’s windows.
Check Your Tyres Throughout The Winter
You must check the tread on your tyres on a regular basis throughout the winter. Poor tyres will not grip when driving in snow. If you live in an area of the UK where snow is a common occurrence each year, you are better off changing to winter tyres that have deeper tread. If conditions get really bad, you can also consider using snow socks which are an alternative to using snow chains.
Always Pack For The Worst
Winter can be a tough time for your car, and the cold weather makes it much more likely to break down. Be prepared for every scenario by making sure your car is equipped with a blanket, a torch, a hi-vis jacket, some food and drink, spare de-icer, a shovel, a phone charger, some jump leads and fully stocked first-aid kit. The most important thing to take with you when driving in snow is a fully-charged mobile phone and the contact details of your breakdown provider so you can call them if you need to.
Check Your Oil
Check your oil level is between the minimum and maximum mark on your car’s dipstick. Remember that, too much oil can be just as bad as too little. The best way to accurately check your oil level is once your car has been running for a short while that fully warmed up. A cold car will look low on oil. You should also check that you always have plenty of fuel in your tank at all times to avoid ending up stranded in the cold weather.
Check Your Car’s Battery
The majority of car batteries don’t last much longer than 3 to 5 years, depending on use and the model. The colder winter months can affect the way a battery performs. If your battery is approaching the end of its expected lifespan then it’s really important to replace it before driving in snow. Always have a look at the battery cables, brackets and trays. If you spot any signs of erosion, then your battery is on its way out.
Check The Wiper Blades
Before the cold season arrives, check your wipers are in good condition and can clean your windscreen properly. It’s also a good idea to give them a wipe down regularly. However, never pull them off of a frozen windscreen as you will run the risk of tearing the rubber. You will also need a good amount of windscreen fluid too. You will be using a lot more of it throughout the winter months because of grit and mud.