Safety FirstWe recommend to be prepared for the worst by always having a reflective vest, blankets, a warning triangle, a flashlight, a shovel, your cell phone, gloves, a windscreen ice scraper, a tow rope and jump leads in your car when driving during the winter. This is especially important for longer trips where snow may affect your driving.
The professional winter checkThe winter weather may affect your car in several ways, and to prevent damage on your car you might need to get professional help. Winter tyres, undersealing, paint sealant, oil change and check of the battery may be things that you are unable to do yourself, but they may still be essential for your car enduring the winter. The extra water and salt in the winter provides good conditions for rust and corrosion that can attack the small stone chippings in the paint gained from driving in sleet. Furthermore, the low temperatures may make the battery lose voltage.
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What can you do yourself?Winter tyres: The tyres must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three quarters of the tyre, but we recommend at least 3mm tread depth. Too many drive around with less than 1.6mm and are thus illegal and potentially dangerous tyres. Make sure you are not one of them! Use the 20p test to check whether your tyres are legal. If the outer rim is visible, your tyres are illegal and you should get them changed as fast as possible. Make sure the radiator coolant and windscreen wash is frost proof. You can check this by taking a sample of it in a straw and storing it in your freezer overnight. If the fluid is frozen, you should make sure to switch it with a frost proof version. Sprinkler heads: In sleet, rain and snow the windscreen is exposed to extra dirt/grit. The sprinkler heads can easily blocked by this, but luckily these are easily cleaned. Simply use a small pin to clean them and make sure the spray is correctly on the windscreen and not spraying the car next to you!
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