Six ways to protect your vehicle this winter


Avoid damaging your vehicle

There are more hazards than just driving on the road in freezing conditions. Here are six things you must know, to help prevent you from damaging your vehicle, before you go out on the road causing a bigger hazard or even breaking the highway code.

Don’t pour boiling water on a frozen windscreen.

About to go to work? or do the school run? You go outside and your windscreen is frozen. It's so important you do not use boiling hot water to melt the ice on your windscreen. The rapid change in temperatures (really cold to really hot) could result in a bigger issue, a cracked windscreen. An ice scraper, De-icer spray works well or even salt water.

Why salt water?

Saltwater freezes at a much lower temperature than pure water, which will melt the ice. This is why you see the winter service vehicles spreading "salt" on the the roads. You could even use a screen cover on your windscreen through the night to prevent ice on the windscreen the next morning.

Only use a proper scraper to remove ice/snow from your windscreen.

If you decide to scrape ice or snow from your windscreen the best tool to use is an ice scraper. Using anything else, like bank cards or CD covers can damage your windscreen, with permanent scratches. You will only see the damage later and it could result in you needing a new windscreen or brake your bank card!

If your doors or windows are frozen don’t force them open.

Apart from the hazards with frozen windscreens, it's also common to have frozen doors and windows. If they are both frozen the best way around this is to try pouring warm water over the handle and the edge of the window. Make sure it is only warm water and not boiling, because this could cause cracking like the windscreens.

If you have a car that has electric windows and they are frozen the worse thing to do is keep pressing the button to wind them down. Doing this can cause the motor to burn out, resulting in a big hole in your wallet. If you want wind down your windows the best thing to do is just wait for the inside of your car to warm up.

Don’t let down your tyre pressure to increase grip when driving.

Most people get told to let down your tyres in icy and snowy conditions for better grip on the road. This is not true and in fact, you'll lose some stability on the road which will make driving in horrible conditions even worse.

Check your tyre pressure is correct because it can drop in cold weather. You may have heard of winter tyres. These can be pricey but will be worth buying if you drive a lot in harsh icy conditions. These tyres are designed to give you better traction and braking in the snow and also wet conditions. So if you have the money for winter tyres then get them. Remember you will need to store and swap make your normal types in the Spring.


Don’t leave snow on the roof of your car.

It's so important to remove the snow from the top of your vehicle. Leaving snow on your roof is actually a violation of the highway code. Why? When you break, the snow on your roof will then fall onto your windscreen, obstructing your view.

People tend to clear windows and windscreen on their car but forget about the remaining snow on the roof. You must remove snow from the roof because, apart from slipping onto your windscreen, it will also affect other road users. When the snow on your roof flies off it could hit the vehicle behind covering their windscreen or land in lumps on the road, either could cause a crash.

You can also use Vehicle Smart to set reminders, such as your winter service, or remind yourself of your tyre pressures (which are different for winter) and much more.

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