After being hit with wintery weather over the last couple of days (alongside anticipating much more in the coming months), Connect have compiled this short survival guide to help keep you prepared and proactive this festive season.
Get in the routine of checking that you have topped up your coolant level with suitably concentrated antifreeze, and if possible cover the windscreen overnight with a frost shield – alternatively make sure you always have a can of de-icer and an ice scraper accessible. Using WD40 on your car door locks and Vaseline on the rubber door seals is a cheap tactic for preventing them freezing shut as temperatures drop.
Ensure you keep enough fuel in your tank over the winter months, as there are statistically more traffic and weather delays on the roads during this time of year. Now is also a good time to check tyre pressure and tread depth as these will directly affect your vehicle handling in icy conditions. It wouldn’t hurt to replace your wiper blades if necessary either – smeared water on the windscreen can be dangerous when it causes the low sun to dazzle you, even if you wear shades. Also, be aware that old car batteries are one of the most common causes of winter breakdowns as they struggle to function in the cold temperatures.
Plan for the worst case scenario by ensuring you have the appropriate essentials with you on every journey. We recommend you have an in-car charger for your mobile phone, a basic first aid kit and any personal medication, and a decent torch with spare batteries. Additional suggestions include jumper cables for your car battery, a tow rope, a snow shovel, and de-icing salt or a bit of old carpet/thick cardboard that can be placed under wheels to help regain traction if you struggle on ice or snow. It wouldn’t hurt to pack a sleeping bag or blanket either, and basic food and water supplies on the off chance you end up stranded for a while.
It would be much easier if we all had Ken Block’s fantastic Subaru Impreza TRAX STIfrom his infamous Gymkhana, unfortunately, we do not. Hopefully, this guide can help in absence of snow cat tracks and rally spec dampers for the suspension!