Five tips for cold weather
OMAKE sure you clear the cobwebs from your de-icer and ready-mixed washer fluid and get your vehicle up to scratch for the bitterly cold weather we’re experiencing.
To help you with this, Tim Shallcross, IAM RoadSmart’s head of technical policy, has put together five top tips: Inside job: Months of air Washer bottle: Readyconditioning and dust mixed washer fluid can builds up a grimy layer on be an expensive the inside of the convenience; it’s typically windscreen, so spend a £5 or so for five litres – couple of minutes getting more at motorway service it really clean. areas – and most of it is
Use a window cleaning just tap water. fluid or a microfiber Many supermarkets cloth. sell concentrated fluid
A squeaky clean which will dilute to make surface will eliminate at least 20 litres for less glare from the low winter cost, even more when the sun and greatly reduce weather’s mild and the likelihood of the there’s no risk of the screen misting up. washers freezing.
Carefully clean the rear Alternatively shop screen so that you don’t online, but don’t be damage the heater tempted by hi-tech elements and you’ll save sounding premium having to put the heated priced products or the rear window on so much, very expensive ‘specially which can cost two or developed for X make of car’.threempgwhileit’son.
n cold days, don’t use the washers until you feel warm air coming out of the heater, otherwise the spray may freeze on your windscreen leaving you driving blind. Wipers: If you get that horrible squeaking noise, it’s time to change the wiper blades.
When the new blades sweep the screen in efficient, rain clearing silence, you’ll be grateful you did.
On icy days always check that your wipers are not frozen to the glass.
Attempting to get them moving can blow a fuse or damage the motors, just adding to your woes.
The same problem can sometimes affect electric wing mirrors.
If really low temperatures are forecast don’t fold them in the night before. Frost and ice: If there’s no magic windscreen defrost switch in your car, buy a custom made ice blanket or just cover the screen the night before with a sheet.
Do not use newspapers for this as they tend to disintegrate into a soggy mush. Invest in a good quality ice scraper and a few tins of de-icing spray and, most importantly give yourself that extra 10 minutes to get the car ready to go.
Clear the whole screen, not just a letter box area in front of the driver.
A badly cleared screen is dangerous and is an offence.
Three points and a hefty fine can be the reward for skimping.
While you scrape and spray you can have the engine running with the heater set to maximum demist. But cars are at their most polluting and wasteful when cold, so you won’t be doing the environment or your wallet any good.
As soon as the windows are clear, drive off. It is illegal to leave a car running unattended as well as being a huge temptation for the casual thief. Most insurance companies may not pay out if you make it easy for someone to steal your vehicle. Damp: Clear damp or snowy boots and coats out of the car when you get home – if you leave them in overnight the water will evaporate and condense on the inside of all the windows.
It’ll take ages to clear and the car will feel damp and miserable for your morning commute.
Even leaving them in the boot will make the windows wet and foggy, so get them indoors where they’ll dry out properly.