Nov 232018
 

Winter proofing tyresWinter is rapidly approaching and while the prospect of a white Christmas may sound appealing, icy conditions can be anything but ideal for many motorists.

At Warranty Direct, we’ve put together this season’s maintenance ‘to-do’ list, so your vehicle is always winter-ready.

Winter-Proof Your Tyres

Consider buying Winter tyres, which are made from rubber with a high silica content and a tread pattern designed to stay flexible in low temperatures. They provide better braking and handling performance on snow and ice.

It can make sense to buy winter tyres if you live in a remote area where conditions are likely to be worse for longer.

Elsewhere it may be harder to justify the cost in the UK, although your personal decision should be based on your own risk of bad weather, your confidence when driving and how much you have to drive in icy conditions.

If you decide not to buy winter tyres, you need to ensure you have a minimum tread depth of 4mm to get adequate traction. For every 10 degrees change in temperature, car tyres lose a pound of pressure. So check the pressure in all tyres at the outset of the winter season.

Make Sure You’re Kitted Out

 Should the worst happen and your vehicle breaks down in sub-zero conditions, you need to be equipped with a winter breakdown kit.

Stock essential items in your boot like a blanket, water, non-perishable snacks and a first aid kit – which is a must-have all year-round – but especially important in winter.

It’s also highly recommended you have at least one spare tyre and warning triangle on hand to help you in the event of a breakdown.

Keeping an in-car phone charger is also paramount as it will allow you to contact your breakdown cover provider if you find yourself in a roadside emergency.

Break the Ice

You must ensure all ice and snow is removed from the windscreen before you embark on any journey.

Many motorists mistakenly believe they only have to clear away enough frost to allow them partial vision. This is known as ‘porthole vision’ and could be subject to strict penalties.

Improve Visibility

It’s also vital you check the health of your wiper blades, as any squeaking might be down to damaged blades. While you’re attending to windshield issues, car safety experts suggest switching over to cold weather washer fluid, or any brand containing anti-freeze.

Check the Battery

Your vehicle’s battery loses 33% of its power when temperatures drop below freezing. So it’s wise to examine the battery and its charger so you know they’re performing optimally. If unsure, a trip to a reliable car mechanic will quickly reveal whether your battery is winter-ready.

At Warranty Direct, we have a Preferred Repairer Network which consists of over 3,000 specially selected garages that can undertake reliable repair work for our policy holders.

Consider Different Oil

Cold weather thickens engine oil, which forces car batteries to work overtime to get your car running. But you can give your battery a break and avoid possible engine issues by switching over to a thinner oil. However, be sure to check your owner’s manual for notes on compatibility first.

Of course, even after taking all of these precautions problems could still arise. To make sure you are protected in the event of unexpected vehicle failure, why not get a quote with Warranty Direct today?

Policies underwritten by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Arranged and administered by Warranty Direct. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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