Winter Driving Tips
We’re pulling our heaters out of the cupboard, fitting our electric blankets, changing into our winter pyjamas and making sure there’s plenty of hot chocolate in the cupboard.
But what are we doing to prepare our vehicles for winter? The change in season is the perfect time to make sure your vehicle is road-ready with a FREE 6 Point Safety Check, so you arrive safely wherever you travel.
Six reasons to get your vehicle checked this winter!
Tyres which are under or over-inflated wear out more quickly and don’t handle as well when you are driving. Maintaining the correct tyre pressure will help you to use less fuel, be safer on the road and increase the life of your tyres.
If you haven’t checked your pressures in a while, ensure you increase your following distance and adjust your speed to the conditions. It only takes a split second to hydroplane in wet or icy conditions.
TYRE TREAD DEPTH
Worn or bald tyres with poor tread depth will significantly affect the overall braking and cornering performance of your vehicle. This puts you, your passengers and other road users at risk.
We recommend you replace your tyres when the tread depth reaches 3mm. Tyres below the 3mm recommendation are worn by up to 78% and significantly affect overall braking and cornering performance.
If you think your tread could be a little low, ensure you slow down when turning on the straight and maintain a slow and regular speed. It is also a good idea to take extra care when crossing bridges, as they often stay slippery for longer than other road surfaces.
Tip: If you accelerate suddenly, your tyres could lose traction. If you do lose traction at any point and your wheels lock and slide, release the brake pedal to recover traction, then slowly brake again.
No one wants to get caught out with a flat battery, and especially not on a cold winters’ morning!
To prevent that happening, it’s best to keep your vehicle in a garage or undercover and away from the wind. If this isn’t possible, park the front of your car away from the main direction of the wind.
Second, make sure you give your battery some time to wake up in the morning by waiting a minute before turning your heater, lights, or radio on. Let the alternator charge your battery first, cars get cold too!
It is also a good idea to have your battery checked before the chill hits. All Beaurepaires stores have advanced battery testing capability, and staff are trained to fit batteries.
Oil is the life-blood of your vehicle. The right level of oil will ensure friction and heat are reduced, so your engine doesn’t burn up and seize.
For better fuel economy always choose the best quality engine oil suitable for your vehicle. The less friction you have between the parts in your engine, the more efficiently the parts can work and move – and the less fuel you will burn.
Are your headlights looking cloudy or dull? Driving at night or in bad weather conditions with ineffective headlights could pose a safety concern. Headlights are prone to oxidation, scratches, and yellowing, so getting your headlights cleaned before winter will not only increase your visibility but will make you more visible to other road users.
This tip is especially relevant for our Waikato dwellers! Special care should be taken during foggy conditions.
Tip: We recommend not using your high beams when driving in the fog because light will reflect off the water particles in the cloud vapor, making it harder to see.
Give yourself some extra time in the morning to fully de-mist your windscreen before driving. We know this is tough when you want a few additional minutes in bed, but a foggy windscreen will likely lead to a collision.
If your windscreen is frosted over, use a scraper or a bank card to remove the ice. DO NOT use hot water as this could crack your windscreen. Not a good start to your morning.
Lastly, make sure you replace your wiper blades if they are streaking, squeaking, or skipping. Wiper blades wipers play a crucial role in keeping you safe, especially during poor weather conditions. Beaurepaires stock a wide range of wiper blades should you need a replacement.
Book a FREE 6 Point Safety Check to make sure your vehicle is ready for winter.
Our friendly team will check your Tyre Pressures, Tread Depths, Battery, Oil Level, Wiper Blades and Headlights all for free!