If you have been driving for a long time, you would know that it is very challenging to drive during the winter season. As the temperature drops and it gets cold outside, the conditions of roads tend to get rough and treacherous. For those who have recently received their driver's licence, driving during winters can be frightening.
To make your driving easier, here are three major tips you can follow to combat the challenges that the winter season throws at you.
Take Your Vehicle for Servicing
Any mechanical issue in vehicles tend to worsen during winter. This is why an increase in breakdowns and assistance call outs is recorded during the winter season.
Other than being an inconvenience, a car breakdown will attract a pretty big repair bill as well. Regularly sending in your vehicle for servicing can reduce the chances of a breakdown. Ideally, you should give your car for servicing just before winter sets in.
The mechanic will check your brakes, change the oil, check the heating and cooling systems, and carry out all preventative repairs. They will let you know if any major issues have had to be left untreated or if any problems are likely to come up in the future.
Check, Check, and Recheck
Before you set off for a long journey in winter, you need to not only send your vehicle in for servicing, but you should carry out checks for your vehicle as well. What do you need to look into? The acronym, ‘FORCES’ will come in handy when you perform your checks:
You should check the amount of fuel you have in your tank. Running out of fuel on a remote and dark road during a cold night is the last thing that you would want.
The oil in your vehicle acts as a lubricant and ensures that every part works smoothly. If your vehicle is not oiled, it will suffer engine damage. You can use a dipstick to check the oil in your engine and refill it if required.
You must also check the pressure of all your tyres and refill the air if it is below the level that is mentioned in your owner’s manual.
The antifreeze that is set in the vehicle's cooling system tends to get diluted over a period of time. There is a risk of freezing if the temperature falls below zero. You will find the accurate ratio to fill this up in the vehicle's manual.
Make sure to check if the lights of your vehicle are working. You should also check on the battery.
During winter, roads gather a lot more dirt and grit. This is why you need to check your screen wash level before you set out on a long journey. Top it up with screen wash fluid if required. You can choose one that is made for the winter season as it will be effective in colder temperatures.
Keep in mind that the wiper blades will also wear down. If the blades are not clearing your screen effectively, you should replace them.
Always Have an Emergency Kit in Your Vehicle
Being stranded in the car due to heavy snow or a blizzard is one of the worst situations to get into. Carrying an emergency kit in your vehicle during short and long journeys is a wise choice. Here's what you can pack in the kit:
- Energy bars
- A blanket
- Instant hand warmers
- Drinking water
- Thermos with hot beverage
- Hi-vis (high visibility) vest (if you have to leave the vehicle)
- A torch
- First aid kit
- A shovel
- Jump leads
- Portable car phone charger
Last but not least, make sure to wrap yourself up in many layers before you set off on your journey. If you follow the above three tips, you can easily combat the hurdles that winter will throw at you.