Top 10 winter driving tips from Vision Vauxhall
As a nation, battling the snow leaves us Brits in a state of panic. Following last week’s snow and ice, here in the Midlands – one of the worst-hit areas –closed schools and delayed journeys caused commotion for over a week.
Stafford car retailer Vision Vauxhall recently conducted a survey to find out how much women knew about their cars, especially during the winter. From the results, it appears that a startling 82 per cent of those polled do not check their car in the winter, when driving conditions worsen.
But it’s not just females who neglect their trusty motors. We all rely on them nearly every day, assuming they will run like clockwork in between regular services and MOTs. There are simple ways to maintain your vehicle for even the most car-averse person during the colder months of the year:
1. Plan your route – give yourself enough time and ensure you have enough petrol. Stay on main roads rather than country lanes, which are less likely to be cleared, and keep your phone charged.
2. Pack provisions – make sure you have a scraper, de-icer, a shovel, warm clothes, a torch, food and water.
3. Slow down – it seems obvious, but not enough people adjust how they drive according to the weather.
4. Keep your distance – stopping distance can increase by up to 10 times in icy conditions.
5. Start in second – pull off in second gear, accelerate gently, and avoid revving to prevent wheel spin.
6. Steer into skids – if you begin skidding, ease off the accelerator, and point the car in the direction you wish to go.
7. Break slow – fast braking will cause more skidding, so reduce your speed gradually and avoid sharp braking. This goes for acceleration, too.
8. Slip on a pair of socks – for the car, that is. AutoSock snow socks are easy to use and prevent slipping in snowy conditions. Just pull them over your tyres and you’re good to go! They are available at Vision Vauxhall from just £49.95.
9. Be tyre-tread ready – loss of traction is a main cause of accidents at this time of year. Vision’s Winter Safety Check will inspect this for you.
10. Top up the anti-freeze – Anti-freeze only costs a few pounds, but repairing a frozen engine will cost hundreds. Use a 50-50 mix of antifreeze and water in the cooling system for winter.
And if you want a professional assessment before you brave the roads, let Vision Vauxhall’s MasterFit trained technicians carry out an extensive Winter Safety Check on your vehicle for just £25 (RRP £35). Vision will inspect your vehicle’s brakes, tyres, exhaust, steering, wiper blades and much more. The team will also check your engine oil, brake fluid and radiator coolant, topping-up where necessary*. Plus, you will also receive a free Winter Care Pack worth £20.
Vision Vauxhall, based at Walton-on-the-
*Top-up quantity limited to a maximum of half a litre. We’ll advise you if you need to add more and, with your consent, charge you accordingly. Offer ends 28 February 2013.