Top 5 Winter Driving Tips

Driving in extreme weather conditions is something every driver will have to face. Below are the 5 main most common problems and our tips on how to maintain your vehicle during the colder months of the year.

A dead battery due to the temperature dropping extremely low to freezing point.

Wiper blades not cleaning your windscreen properly during heavy rain.

Lack of lubricants – for example not enough screen wash or anti-freeze.

Frozen door locks – these often occur during cold temperatures

Not having the correct tyres for the winter season – possibly the most important of all.

PLEASE NOTE when you are working on your car, you must take the necessary safety precautions before starting any type of work. For this job it is recommended you have protective eye wear and protective gloves.  

Battery Terminal Protector

Check your car battery, if it hasn’t been replaced in a few years then look at getting a replacement battery as soon as possible. Another thing to consider when checking your car battery, regardless of whether you decide to change it or not, is making sure the terminal connectors (positive & negative) are clean of any corrosion. This can be achieved by using a battery terminal pole cleaner and a small wire brush on the positive and negative cables when they are off. This will keep them clean and protected, and ensure there is no loss in power as your car has a protected connection to the battery.

Batteries

To find the right battery for your car, simply click the image above and type in your car reg.

Here are 3 products which will help remove corrosion from your current battery, or help you clean the positive and negative cables before installing a new battery.

Quick Release Battery Terminal (Pair)

These handy replacement battery terminals are a great replacement for your current ones, plus they have the added benefit of having secure quick release for easy removal and cleaning.

Battery

Battery Cleaner

Sealey AK417 Battery Post & Terminal Cleaner

The Sealey wire brush is used to remove corrosion build up on battery posts and terminals for improved electrical contact.


Normfest Battery Pole Protector 300ml

Before fitting any car battery, it is important that you make sure the connection between the terminals and the cable clamps is clean. This protector helps to clean and ensure a protected connection once fitted.


Windscreen Wipers/Blades

Worn out wiper blades are dangerous for both driver and oncoming traffic. This is due to 90% of driving decisions being based on a clear unobstructed view of the road ahead. The weather plays a crucial role in your wiper blades deterioration. For example, freezing temperatures make wiper blades hard and brittle, this can lead to the rubber cracking or tearing. 

Hot weather warps the rubber which prevents the wiper blades from cleaning your windscreen properly. Heavy use of the wiper blades also causes wear as dust, abrasives, road grit and bugs deteriorate the blades over time. It is also important to change wiper blades if they haven’t been used in a while. As the blades age, they lose their flexibility and sometimes develop a permanent curvature, which prevents the wiper blades from making full contact with your car’s windshield.

To find the right blades for your car, simply click the image below and type your car reg.

wiper blade

Screen Wash & Anti-Freeze

Screen Wash

We all know how important it is to have plenty of screen wash during the winter. Everyday driving to work and home can lead to your windscreen collecting snow, slush, salt, grit and rain which carries dirt.

However, one of the most common myths motorist believe, is that you don’t need screen wash during the summer season, they believe just topping up the screen wash with plain water is enough. This statement is incorrect, as with the arrival of summer comes every driver’s worst nightmare, sun dazzle.

Sun dazzle occurs when the sun hits the car’s windscreen and the ray of sunshine reflects off the dirt, dead bugs and grime found on the windscreen. Screen wash is essential to remove this.

CarPlan – All Season Screen Wash Ready Mix 5L

This product is ready mixed with water for convenience. No need to dilute. Simply pour directly into the windscreen washer bottle

carplan

TRIPLE QX Concentrated -15c Winter Screen Wash 5L

Our Triple QX Concentrated BELOW 15 Screenwash cleans all types of dirt, grit, tar and sap from your windows, leaving a spotless, streak free finish.

Triple QX

Prestone Max Visibility -10c Ready Mix Screen Wash 5L

This Prestone Screen Wash is specifically engineered to improve driving visibility and comes ready to use. Prestone Screen Wash helps clear light ice and frost, and reduce dangerous re-freeze from forming on your windscreen

Prestone

Anti-Freeze

Anti-Freeze is the most important fluid under your car’s bonnet. It maintains and controls the temperature of the engine, stopping it from overheating by keeping it cool. So, it’s important to make sure your anti-freeze is always topped up. If you have very little or no anti-freeze in your engine, then this could lead to very expensive repair bills.

To give you an understanding of how much damage you could cause to your car’s engine by not having any anti-freeze, the following important engine parts can all be affected through lack of anti-freeze:

-Water Pump

-Head Gasket

-Cylinder Head

-Warped or bent connector rods

-Crank failure

However, not having coolant/anti-freeze won’t necessarily do instant damage to your car, it also comes down to age of your current vehicle. A lot of modern or high-end cars have a safety mechanism programmed into the ECU that puts the car’s engine into limp mode to reduce the risk of damage by firing the cylinders in a different sequence. Most new cars now have an automatic cut-off feature which protects the engine from heat damage.  

TRIPLE QX Blue Ready Mixed Antifreeze/Coolant 5L

Ready Mix Ethylene Glycol based Antifreeze with Winter Protection up to -36 C upon dilution.

Anti-freeze

Prestone 4L Ready to use Universal Anti-Freeze

Prestone Antifreeze is a high quality, universal coolant suitable for various vehicles, cooling systems and can even mix with all existing antifreeze. The ready to use mixture can be poured straight into an empty, or part filled system.

Prestone

Sealey AK409 Ethylene Glycol Anti-Freeze Tester Dial Type

The Sealey tests glycol strength and includes temperature adjustments scale for accurate interpretation of mixture strength

anti-freeze tester

Winter Tyres

Fitting winter tyres to your car drastically improves driving safety and handling during the colder months, compared to normal summer tyres. We can’t stress enough how important it is to go out and purchase a set of winter tyres for your car as winter brings its own set of hazards for motorists, such as rain, wet leaves, snow, slush and black ice.

Winter tyres have been developed to offer maximum grip and traction while driving in hazardous conditions. What makes winter tyres great in cold conditions compared to their summer counterpart is the fact that winter tyres are made with a softer compound along with deeper grooves and narrow cuts which are built into the tread of the tyres. These grooves and cuts allow the rubber to move around, spreading the water/snow which as a result improves contact with the road.

Winter tyres perform best when driving in conditions with temperatures below 7 degrees. Naturally they outperform the standard summer tyres in regards to traction, grip and braking in cold conditions whether there is snow and ice or not.

If changing your tyres sounds a bit too drastic, then our range of Snow Socks & Snow Chains are an alternative – they can be fitted and removed in less than 5 minutes and offer you the ability to drive through snow, increasing grip by over 300%

Click the image below to find the correct snow chains and snow socks for your current tyres.

snow socks

There are lots of other ways to ensure your tyres are prepared for cold, wet and slippery roads such as ensuring you have plenty of tread, take a look at some handy products below.

MasterPro Tyre Tread Depth Gauge 0 – 25mm

  • Chromed steel body with pocket clip
  • 1.6 mm minimum recommended tread marking
  • Scale from 0-25 mm in 1 mm (0-1″ in 1/32″) graduations

tyre tread

Carpoint Tyre Pressure Gauge 0,5 /3,5 Bar

Carpoint tyre pressure gauge helps you check what pressure level you have in your tyres.

tyre pressure

Ring RAC610 12v Mini Tyre Inflator

  • 12v with fused cigerette lighter plug – up to 300psi.
  • Complete with adapter kit for footballs and bicycles.
  • 3m cable – long enough to use even on large vehicles

tyre inflator

Prepping Your Door Locks & Door Rubbers

During the winter season or colder months, you will generally use the heating inside your car to keep yourself warm but what happens when condensation occurs in the car?

Locks, door jams and windows freeze due to the moisture build up inside the car cabin as heat passes from the inside to the outside. This transition from hot to cold creates condensation which eventually freezes causing the rollers inside the car door lock to become a block of ice and stop you unlocking your car door with the key.

Spraying WD40 on the key hole can be a great way to stop it from freezing. If you have an old car which is opened manually by a key, then simply dip the key into Vaseline, wipe the key clean and then insert the key into the car lock. This will coat the rollers which will stop moisture building up. You can also use Vaseline to repel water from the rubber door seals. Simple dab a microfiber cloth into the Vaseline and lightly massage it into the rubber seals.

WD-40 100ml Aerosol

WD-40 protects metal from rust and corrosion, penetrates stuck or jammed parts, displaces moisture and lubricates just about anything. WD-40 is also great when it comes to cleaning grease, grime and other marks from most surfaces.

wd-40

You can also watch this YouTube video from AMMO NYC. He also explains his top 5 winter driving tips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQCSmb5WABw&t=612s

For more useful information on protecting your vehicle, consumer advice, buyer guides and much more to improve, clean, repair and maintain your car visit the Euro Car Parts blog soon.