Winter Car Care: What Every New Driver Should Know

Posted by at 8 November 2020, at 06 : 32 AM

Winter Car Care: What Every New Driver Should Know

As someone who has recently passed their test, everything about driving is most probably very new – and very exciting – to you. When it comes to winter driving, it’s important to understand that winter road conditions can catch out even the most experienced of driver, which is why as a new driver it’s crucial that you take winter care car and driving preparation even more seriously.

Driving in the winter can be a rather scary and daunting experience, especially if you fail to prepare properly. However, the good news is that when it comes to preparing for winter driving, it’s much easier than you might think to get yourself and your vehicle road-ready – it’s just a case of being clued up about all of the essentials, that’s all.

Wondering what these steps are? Below is a guide to the ins and outs of winter car care that every new driver should know.

Check your oil levels

Take the time to check that your vehicle’s oil level is between the minimum and maximum markers. Did you know that around one in three vehicles that are picked up by recovery trucks have dangerously low oil levels? Don’t be one of these drivers, make sure that you keep an eye on your car’s oil levels.

When it comes to checking your oil levels, make sure that your car has heated up a little first, as a car that’s cold will look like it has low oil levels when that isn’t actually the case.

Wipe your lights

It’s something that a lot of drivers fail to think about but it’s important that you keep your car’s headlights clean, as otherwise the light may be muted by dirt, making driving in the dark extremely dangerous, both for yourself and for other drivers.

Check your wiper fluid

If there’s one experience that you never want to have in your car it’s driving along a road that has been gritted and having the residue of the grit fly up onto your windscreen, creating a white coating across the entire screen, and being unable to clear your windscreen because you’re out of wiper fluid. That’s why, in the winter months especially, it’s so important to make sure that you check your wiper fluid levels before each journey.

When it comes to your wiper fluid, make sure that you aren’t just adding water to the tank. You need to be adding an anti-freeze mixture to your tank, otherwise, the water may freeze in the tank or when you spray it onto your window, causing a sheet of ice to form across the screen.

Get your tyres checked

Not sure whether your tyres are designed to be used for winter driving? Or, unsure whether your tyres are a little too old and worn to drive safely? Consider getting your car tyres checked and changed at a local garage if needed. Never leave tyre safety to chance, always make sure to have your tyres checked if in doubt.

Even if you have winter tyres in place, remember that doesn’t mean that driving on snow and ice is safe. When roads are snowy or icy, you need to ensure that you drive extremely carefully, if at all. However, if you can avoid driving in bad conditions like this, then it’s best to do so.

Pay attention to warning lights

If you notice that a warning light has turned on, don’t make the mistake of ignoring it. Warning lights are there for a reason, so it’s important to make sure that you don’t make the mistake of ignoring them when they flash up.

If a warning light comes on and doesn’t turn off again, you need to take your car to your local garage as soon as possible.

Carry the essentials

There’s nothing worse than breaking down in the colder winter months when it’s freezing cold outside. While you cannot prevent all breakdowns, what you can do is carry the essentials so that should you breakdown, you are covered.

Make sure that in your car you have an ice scraper, extra wiper fluid with anti-freeze in, blankets and extra coats, water for drinking, snacks, a phone and phone charger, a torch, and a shovel. By packing your car with all of the winter driving essentials, you can ensure that no matter what happens, you’re covered.

As a new driver, it’s crucial that you take winter car care and winter driving seriously, and take the time to understand the dangers of driving in cold and snowy conditions.

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