Five tips for cold weather

Middleton Guardian - - WILDLIFE -

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.

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