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7 top tips for winter driving

7 easy steps to ensure your car is ready for Winter

With the nights drawing in and the weather turning cooler, some easy steps you can make to ensure your car is prepared for the cold weather and minimise the chance of a breakdown. Nobody ever expects to break down, run out of petrol, get lost, have an accident or get snowed into their cars for hours on the motorway, but these things do happen.

Follow these simple steps to ensure you’re ready for the changeable driving conditions that winter brings.

1.       Lights: Ensure that lenses are clean and all bulbs are working correctly, including your indicators, brake lights and fog lights.  Salt and dirt can quickly build-up, reducing visibility at night as well as during periods of snow, fog and rain. Carry extra bulbs in case of a failure. If your headlights are foggy or yellowing, consider asking our advice about refurbishing them or at least having them cleaned. Call our friendly and knowledgeable team today and we’ll talk you through the full details of our comprehensive accident repair service.

2.       Tyres: Make sure you’ve got a good amount of tread on your tyres. The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre (experts say that your tyres should have at least 3mm of tread depth during the winter months to maximise your safety.). Check that all four tyres are inflated to the correct pressure - this is vital to maintaining good grip in wet and icy conditions.

3.       Battery: Cold and damp weather is a battery killer. If you find your car slow to start as the temperature falls, your battery is most likely on its way out. The most common cause of breakdown is battery faults. If there's any sign of it struggling to start the car, get it tested by a local dealer or garage.

4.       Coolant levels: Your engine’s coolant level should be checked regularly to avoid causing serious damage to your engine. During the winter months, it is essential to check your anti-freeze levels are topped up to your vehicle manufacturer's recommended levels and it contains the right amount of anti-freeze.

5.       Visibility: One of the biggest dangers in winter is a lack of visibility. It’s a good idea to check the windscreen wipers work properly. Wiper blades should be replaced every six months to a year or as soon as you notice streaks or a scraping noise.

6.       Screenwash: Is used more during the winter months as a result of messy road debris from snowstorms and wet weather conditions.  Top-up using a good quality screenwash which won’t freeze when the temperature plummets. Remember that colder conditions demand a more concentrated solution. It's also a good idea to take some spare windscreen washer fluid in case the screen needs clearing more than usual.

7.       Before setting off on a long journey always make sure that:

·         You have plenty of fuel.

·         You’ve checked the weather reports for the area you’ll be travelling through.

·         Your mobile phone is fully charged and pack an in-car charger.

·         You’ve let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to arrive.

·         Pack an emergency kit during the winter months: Keep a warm blanket, a large bottle of water, some emergency rations, torch, a first-aid kit.

We genuinely hope you don't have a bump in your car in the snow. However if you do our friendly and approachable team are on hand to guide you through the process, answer any  questions and provide all the support and expert advice you require. You'll always be guaranteed a warm, friendly welcome and a cup of tea at MG Cannon! Call our friendly and knowledgeable team today.

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