Driving your car in colder climates

With summer drawing to a close and the evenings getting darker, the temperatures will also soon be decreasing as we enter the autumn and winter. As a motorist, having an awareness of the precautions you should take when driving in colder climates can be useful in minimising your risk of breakdowns. Read on for some key tips and advice as to how you can enjoy safe and hassle-free motoring throughout the colder months.

Carrying Out Checks

To ensure that everything is in working order before you commence any long winter journeys, the RAC suggests remembering the acronym FORCES. This stands for; Fuel, Oil, Rubber, Coolant, Electrics and Screen Wash.
It may sound obvious but being sure that you have enough fuel for your journey takes away the risk of being stranded in the cold. Likewise, low oil levels can cause breakdowns or even lead to significant engine damage. Check that your level is between the minimum and maximum mark indicated on your car’s dipstick.
When talking about ‘Rubber’ we, of course, mean the all-important tyres. Here at Protyre, all our garages with our UK network offer free tyre checks. Our tyre professionals will check your tyres and inspect for tread depth, wear, damage and pressure, ensuring that your tyres are safe and legal. If your tyre inspection does show any problems, then we can offer expert advice as to how to correct the issue, stocking a wide range of replacement tyres from leading brands, including; Pirelli, Falken, Sumitomo and Bridgestone, to name a few.
Another important ‘rubber’ you can check yourself before setting off on any winter journeys is your wiper blades, as they can need replacing occasionally if there are any splits or cracks. Checking coolant levels minimises the risk of your engine freezing or your car overheating. Although it is a sealed system and should not need to be topped up, it is still worth double-checking before a long trip.
When it comes to electrics, you should be sure to check your lights to guarantee that you can see and be seen. Walk around your car to ensure the lights are all working and free from any dirt and grime.
The last part of FORCES is S for screen wash: you should check your screen wash levels and replenish with a pre-mixed screen wash or water plus an additive which should be effective down to at least -15°C. Sometimes, screen wash can completely freeze in the reservoir, so it is important that you use a quality additive which protects your vehicle even in low temperatures.

Motoring Advice

Once you get out on the roads this winter, it is important to be mindful of black ice, by taking it slow and steady in treacherous conditions. Also be mindful of stopping distances, as they increase by 10 times when there is ice on the road. If you do experience skidding, then you can attempt to recover by steering into it, if it is your rear wheels skidding. Alternatively, if it is your front wheels, it is better to reduce the steering angle until you regain traction.

To ensure that you are well-prepared for the winter ahead, remember to book a free tyre check at your local Protyre garage today!

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Tom Boote

Tom has over 5 years’ digital marketing experience within the automotive industry in both B2B and B2C ...

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