Winter driving conditions, are responsible for more than doubling the number of breakdowns in Britain during the winter every year. Payday loans net, new payday loans lenders, advise a few small steps before winter arrives to save yourself a lot of time and money by getting your car ready for winter. Like everything in life, a little forward thinking and a bit of work could save you money and unnecessary headaches in the future.

In this article about how to protect your car this winter we will be looking at:
  • Safe winter driving
  • The best winter tyres and tyre checks
  • Getting the fluids in your car ready for winter
  • Checking that your car battery is functioning properly
  • Keeping exterior lights and window screens in top condition
  • Some tips to keep your car clean during the winter
  • Winter survival kits to keep in the car
  • Breakdown cover and servicing your car

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Improve your winter driving and stay safer

According to The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, one of the best things that you can do to prevent having an accident during the harsh winter weather is to prepare your car for winter. More accidents occur during wet, icy conditions as opposed to during heavy snow falls. Skidding is the cause of over half of all winter accidents. Drivers can avoid winter driving accidents by slowing down when driving in icy wet conditions. You can use special winter tyres to grip the road better when driving. Payday Loans Net, a Paydayuk lender, tries to help you avoid accidents by preparing for winter driving.

Know how to handle the vehicle in case of skidding can save you from having a nasty accident. It is one of the most frightening experiences when you loose control of a car and it begins to skid. Black ice, invisible ice, formed by rain or dew on roads during cold temperatures causes skidding accidents. Driving fast during heavy rain can cause the car to “aquaplane.” This means the car loses its traction on the road and goes into a skid.

The right way to recover control of the car when this is happening is to stop breaking and turn into the skid. You should turn the wheel in the direction that the car’s rear is heading, but not too harshly as this may cause the skid to change to the other direction.

How to drive on ice

Winter tyres are not cheap to purchase. However, they can work out great value for money when you consider the extra safety that they can provide. These tyres are ideal for winter driving in snowy and icy weather conditions. They will also give your car much better road traction in wet miserable weather. Winter tyres would be more suitable for cars in the North of Britain where temperatures tend to be colder. Use these tyres in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. Such tyres are ineffective once temperatures rise.

A new generation of tyres is coming on to the market. The new tyres are suitable for all year use even in countries that require the mandatory use of winter tyres. They are similar to summer tyres but made from the same supple rubber material and tread patterns employed in the production of winter tyres. Michelin first brought this kind of tyre onto the market but other tyre companies are now developing their own types.

Low air pressure and worn tyres can render your cars braking power up to ten times less efficient in cold, wet weather. If you are not planning on changing your tyres during the cold winter months, then it is essential that you get them checked. The law requires the tread must exceed the 1.6mm minimum. Ideally, your tyres should have at least 3mm of tread over 75% of the width of the tyre. Your tyre side walls should be in good condition to prevent tyre failure.

Check all the fluids in your car before winter driving begins

Let’s start with the oil

Thick oil, used during the warmer summer months, should be replaced with a thinner kind before the winter arrives. Oil can be affected by single digit temperatures, becoming thicker still, and can clog up the oil filter and not reach your engine properly. Before winter driving, replace the oil along with the filter to ensure that fresh, clean oil will protect your engine and do its job properly. Your mechanic will be able to advise you on the exact type of oil suits your particular engine.

Refill the radiator for the coming cold weather

Your radiator needs checking all year round, but it is especially important before the cold weather moves in. Make sure that you add the correct amount of antifreeze to the water to stop the liquid in the cooling system from freezing. It may be a good idea to keep some ready mixed liquid in your boot so that you will always be able to top it up with the correct balance. Testing kits are inexpensive and will ensure that you have the right water to antifreeze ratio in the radiator.

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The washer fluid will need topping up regularly

It is important to remember to keep the screen wash bottle filled with a high quality liquid or a concentrate that mixes with water. These screen washers have a percentage of antifreeze in them. The screen washers help clean the frozen debris and muck from your window screen that is more abundant during bad weather and to keep your jet washers from freezing. Check that the rubbers on your wipers are in good condition and replace them if necessary.

By checking your car battery, you can avoid having a car that doesn’t start in winter

A battery should last a couple of years. Therefore, if you know that yours will be running out soon then now is the time to get it checked or even replaced. You can test the battery yourself if you have the correct equipment. Alternatively, you can take it to a large supplier and let them take a look. If the car is starting without any problems and you do have some time left on the expiry date, then you can just check the battery terminals for corrosion. Remove any corrosion that you find with a mixture of baking soda and water. You can spray the terminals with a spray lubricator or alternately use some petroleum jelly for a cheaper option.

Check your exterior lights and windscreen

Exterior lights and window screens should be checked now for cracks. Should you find any, repair them immediately to avoid water getting in and freezing. This could cause a lot more damage in the future.  Majority of people report they didn’t see properly when accidents occurred. It is imperative to see and make sure other drivers can see you too. Replace faulty bulbs, and carry a few spares in the car in case you need to change one in a hurry.

So what have we learned so far?
  1. Avoid winter breakdowns by taking a few simple steps
  2. Skidding on icy roads causes over half of all accidents during the winter
  3. By having the correct tyres on your vehicle, you can prevent accidents
  4. Change the oil and filters to protect the engine
  5. Check and fill the screen wash and radiator tank
  6. Make sure that your car battery will last the winter and not let you down
  7. It is important to see and make sure other drivers can see you, so check exterior lights and window screens for damage

Winter car wash

Washing your car more frequently in the winter may seem like madness and a bit futile. The car will become wet and dirty again almost as soon as you have finished. Yet it is one of the best things that you can do to protect it and prolong the life of your car. Once rust starts to build up on a car, it can become tough to get rid of. Snow, road salt and moisture are the main causes of rust. Rust can ruin the underside of your car, and any exposed metal.

Although quite expensive to buy, there are fleece-lined, waterproof gloves on the market. They are specially designed for people who work in wet, freezing conditions. These would be the ideal gloves to own for car washing during the winter. You could use chemical resistant, waterproof gloves that come up your arms to avoid water getting into your sleeves. It is better if you anticipate getting wet, and therefore dress accordingly by wearing waterproof clothing.

There will be days when the temperature is more moderate, and you should choose such a day if you have time to clean the vehicle. If it is unusually cold, then you can run the car around the block a few times to warm up the bonnet. Keep the heating on to get the inside of the car warmed up. You should use warm water to help melt away grime and salt. Use a formulated car wash soap for the exterior. Dish washing soaps can strip the car of any protective wax that you may have laboured hard to apply.

Jet washer

Use a jet washer for those hard to reach areas and pay attention to the under carriage of the car, behind the wheels and the front grill. This is where the most salt and dirt from the road collects. Waxing your vehicle with a high-quality product designed for winter use will help to protect it from road salt and grime and make your task easier when you are washing. You can apply a good protective spray for your tyres to keep your tyres supple and in good condition. It is a good idea to put a winter survival car kit in the boot before the winter starts.

Winter car accessories

By making up a kit of some items that you will need during the winter driving months, you will be willing to deal with whatever the elements throw at you in advance.
Some things to include are:
  • De-icer and a scraper
  • Jump-start cables
  • Hi visibility vest
  • Reflective warning sign
  • A good torch
  • Mobile phone charger
  • A first aid kit
  • Blanket, gloves and a hat
  • A few snacks

By changing your interior car mats at this time of year to heavy duty rubber ones, you will protect the interior carpets from salt and moisture damage. You can place this kind of mat under the wheels to help you get out of tricky spots if you should become stuck.

Keeping a lighter about your person is a quick, easy way to unfreeze locks if you find yourself frozen out of your car. Antifreeze and a scraper should be kept both in the car and at home or in the garage. The AA has a large selection of ready to go winter car kits that  you can purchase in stores that comprise of most of the listed items.

Get your car serviced before winter

Many well-known garages offer free winter checks that you can take advantage of before beginning winter driving. Getting your car serviced before winter is a very good idea. You have to service the car at regular intervals anyway. By servicing the car before winter, you can prevent many of the topics that we have spoken about today from happening. This will give you piece of mind before the winter starts and allow you to drive with confidence.

Breakdown cover

Many insurers used to offer free breakdown cover as part of their insurance policies. Quite a few have stopped this and now add it on as an optional extra. It will ultimately be your choice as to what kind of cover you choose to have for your vehicle. It’s a good idea to check along with the above checklist that it is up to date.

Conclusion: winter-proof your car

As we have discussed in this article, by taking the time to carry out a few simple checks and prepare yourself for winter driving in advance, you may be able to save yourself some money by preventing accidents from happening and being better equipped to handle them if they should occur. You can drive with more assurance this winter.

Payday UK lender Payday Loans Net hopes that this has given you some things to think about. We hope that you will consider taking some of our well-meant advice. Drive safely!

Chloe Winters
Chloe grew up in the countryside, but came to the city to pursue a career in economics. She fell in love with the abundance of shops, and quickly developed a passion for fashion. After blowing her first salary on a shopping spree, she realised that budgeting is the only way to go. Now, Chloe is a budgeting queen – and still manages to dress like a superstar. She loves sharing the advice and tips she gained along the way, and is excited to be part of the Payday Loans Net blogging team. Her advice to you: If I can do it, anyone can!

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