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Prepare your car for winter with Merityre
26th November 2014
Hostile weather, plummeting temperatures and longer periods of darkness can make winter a more hazardous time for drivers. Follow Merityre Specialists’ Top 5 tips for getting your car through winter.
1.Buy breakdown cover
With breakdown companies reporting record call outs last winter; it is worth considering taking out some level of cover as the weather worsens. Whether your car breaks down on a snowy motorway or you run out of fuel on a frosty morning on the way to work, taking out a breakdown policy could give you peace of mind and save you money in the long run.
2.Check your car battery
A flat battery is the most common cause of winter breakdowns, so to avoid getting caught out remember to check your battery every week during the winter months and replace if necessary. Car batteries have an average lifespan of four years, and there are a number of signs to look out for which might suggest your battery is coming to the end of its life:
- Is your ignition taking longer to turn over?
- Do your car’s headlights appear dimmer?
- Is your car beginning to struggle as it turns over?
As a precaution it is also worth carrying jump leads or a battery charger in your car in case of emergencies. Visit your local Merityre Specialists for a free battery check.
3. Are your tyres ready for winter weather?
Your tyres are put to the ultimate test in winter months, therefore ensuring your tyres remain robust is crucial for efficient and safe driving. At Merityre we recommend at least 3mm of tread for winter motoring, and no less than 2mm.
It is also important to check the pressure of your tyres regularly and look for any damage such as splits, bulges or uneven wear. If you live in an area which has regular snow fall, it may be worth considering purchasing winter tyres which give you greater traction and control.
4. Checking your tyre tread
A quick visual check of the depth of your tyre tread can be made by looking at the wear indicators on the grooves of the tread pattern or by using a depth measuring gauge for more accurate result.
Alternatively the '20p test' is a quick way to measure tyre tread. Simply insert a 20p coin into the lowest tread depth of your tyres and if you can’t see the outer rim of the coin, then your tyre is safe and has a minimum of 3mm tread depth. If the rim of the coin is visible then your tyre tread is less than 3mm and should be checked by a professional at your local Merityre Specialists.
5.Keep your windows clear
It is crucial to keep the windscreen and other windows in your car clear, especially during winter when your vision is often obscured with ice, snow and condensation. Always check the roof of your car for any snow, as this can slide on to the windscreen and effect visibility. It is also worth keeping an ice scrapper or de-icer in your car during the colder months as a precaution. Do not use water to de-ice your windscreen, as hot water can crack the glass, and will only freeze again on the glass or on the ground where you are standing.
The quality of your windscreen wipers will greatly affect their ability to clear your windscreen, therefore regular checks are essential. It is also important to make sure you have enough screen wash and that the concentration is suitable for cold conditions.