To many people their car is essential. It may be their only way of getting around or they may have to travel miles to work every day and would be lost without their trusted automobile. Apart from a house, a car will probably be the most significant investment for many people and if you look after them, they can last a lifetime.
Although the number of cars on the roads has decreased slightly recently in the wake of price rises and campaigns for ‘greener’ methods of transport, there were still over 34 million vehicles registered for road use at the end of last year. As the winter creeps in, it is important to prepare our cars for the change in weather as much as we prepare ourselves so here are a few things to consider at this time of year.
Windscreen covers – With temperatures plummeting in the winter months there is going to be a lot of ice around, and not just on the roads. The last thing you want is to get to your car in the morning and the windscreen is covered in thick ice so you end up being late for work as you try to hack away at it. A windscreen cover will stop it sticking to the actual glass and you should be able to pull it straight off, hassle free.
De-icer – This can be a life saver in the cold weather and is a must for any glove compartment. Even if you have a windscreen cover you may still have problems with ice on the windows. De-icer is the most effective way to clear this quickly, efficiently and safely. Do not, under any circumstances, pour hot water over the glass as you risk it cracking. Also, don’t forget your wing mirrors; they need to be ice-free too.
Snow tires – Lots of people discount these as a needless waste of money but that’s not necessarily true. Granted, if you are the sort of person that doesn’t drive in the snow you won’t be needing them but what if you don’t have a choice. Many people need to use their cars every day, regardless of the weather. These tires are designed to provide maximum traction on a slippery road surface and are the only type 100%suited to the job. That includes high performance and all weather tires.
Give her a good tune up – The winter is a great time to check all those things that you should be checking regularly but often don’t. Things such as the oil, the tire pressure, water levels and if there is any corrosion on the battery. These are all common causes of breakdowns and if you think breaking down in the summer is frustrating then you definitely won’t want it to happen in the winter.
In case of emergency – You should always carry an emergency kit somewhere in your car in the event that the worse does happen. This should include things like a first aid kit, some extra warm clothing, a torch, an ice scraper, flares and anything else you think might come in handy should you be stranded in the cold.
This article is written by Chris Mayhew on behalf of Collison Motoring Services. They have all you need to winter-proof your vehicle whilst also offering car hire in Portsmouth and the surrounding area.