As the temperatures begin to plummet and we await the ice cold rain, snow, slush and black ice – every journey will turn into a potential hazard. That’s because driving in the winter can be a challenge if you are not well prepared, so we’ve put together a checklist of a few essential necessities to ensure you’re well equipped to handle the cold weather this year.
Some will be aimed at preparing you for the cold weather and others will help you get out tricky situations you may encounter because of the harsh winter conditions – the key is to reduce the risks as much as possible so you can make it through the cold weather.
Summer tyres harden when the temperature drops below seven degrees celsius which is why you may want to consider swapping them over for winter tyres. That way, you can make driving when it snows both easier and safer! Winter tyres use a silica-rich rubber compound that is designed to increase flexibility, grip and traction whether it’s wet or dry.
However, we know that swapping tyres between seasons aren’t always an option. If that’s the case for you, then an all season tyre can provide the next best solution.
Tyre Compressor & Gauge
To maximise the performance of your tyres, it pays to check the pressure weekly. If the tyre has deflated too much, it can reduce stability and cause overheating on the tarmac. Even in this winter weather, that can lead to tyres bursting at the worst possible time! Just imagine – you’re driving down the M1 on a snowy day when your tyre pops!
Antifreeze is added to the coolant of a vehicle to help lower the freezing point, raise the boiling point and prevent internal corrosion. Keeping the mixture at the right balance is essential. Antifreeze testers are fairly inexpensive and can give you a clear indication of whether extra antifreeze is required.
With shorter winter days, this means we’ll be spending more time than ever driving in the dark! Did you know that halogen headlamps – the most common type of bulb – will dim over time? For better visibility, consider switching to white light which helps your eyes to focus, meaning you’re much more likely to get home safely in time for a bowl of tomato soup to warm yourself up!
Your battery will work harder than ever during the winter, so a regular charge is always a good idea. With a good battery charger, you’ll be able to diagnose the battery’s condition, desulphate if required and recondition deeply discharged batteries. No one wants to be stuck in the supermarket carpark at night, unable to start the car, right?
A jump start pack can come in handy on those early mornings when you need to get to work, or freezing dark nights when you just need to get home. Some fit comfortably in your glove box compartment which means you could be on your way in a matter of minutes as opposed to hours.
If you live in an area prone to deep snow, you will know how difficult it is to gain traction on the road. This is where vehicle tracks come in handy! Vehicle tracks slip under your wheels, providing extra grip. Then, when you’re done, they fold up neatly in the boot.
Snow socks are a great and cheap alternative to snow chains. They’re strong, easy to fit and incredibly light which makes for easy storage. So if you don’t want to throw some chains on your wheels, you should definitely look into these!
They’re a quick and easy solution for traction on ice and snow-covered roads.