28th October 2019
Well, summer wasn’t the best on record but those pleasant warm days and unending hours of daylight are now quite a distant memory! Although later than usual, winter is certainly on the way and we are sure that you’ve encountered the first of many frosty mornings. It’s easy for us to reach for the winter coat and even a scarf but preparations for your car are not quite so simple.
So before we are plunged into the depths of winter why not spend a moment thoroughly checking your car to ensure that you are ready for the inevitable snow, ice and disruption.
Check the pressures and the tread of each tyre carefully. If the pressures are reduced it’s likely that you have a potential problem and you should inspect the tyre tread for debris or nails embedded in the rubber. Don’t forget that most cars are no longer supplied with a spare and the emergency tyre repair kits are simply not a reliable alternative. A few seconds spent now could find something that if not rectified will leave you stranded and waiting in the cold for assistance.
Screens & Washers
Double check that you have adequate screen wash in the reservoir and that the mixture is strong enough not to freeze. It’s certainly worth checking that the washer jets are clean & fully functional. Also a thorough clean of the car glass with a quality glass cleaner will remove a surprising amount of traffic film and will ensure crystal clear vision.
Double check all the exterior and interior lights are operational as your life depends on them! Most current cars have high spec LED’s but if your car is older you may wish to consider a kit to upgrade your headlamp bulbs. They are surprisingly cheap and very effective!
Check that your car heater is working well and that the blower and demisters are working adequately. Sometimes leaves and other debris can block the intake vents that are at the back of the bonnet. Clearing these now will eliminate problems later.
Double check that your servicing is up to date and mot is current. Even the latest of cars generally needs a health check at the dealer once a year even if your mileage is minimal. You can find a useful mot reminder service at https://www.gov.uk/mot-reminder
If you register your registration number you will receive text reminders a month before the mot is due.
Winter Essentials: Here’s a brief checklist of things that we think are essential especially if you are travelling a distance or in very rural areas:
- Mobile phone and charge lead/adaptor
- Torch & batteries
- Snack bars or chocolate
- Bottle of water
- Ice scraper & deicer
- First aid Kit
- Spare medication
- Sat/Nav or atlas
- Phone number of breakdown assistance & insurers
- Warm coat with gloves and hat
Precautions once the bad weather arrives: Snow and Ice that is left on the exterior of a vehicle for a long period of time can damage paintwork. The removal of snow and ice can also cause problems. Using inappropriate tools to remove snow or scrape ice can damage trim, wipers and paint finishes. Only use products that are specifically designed to remove snow and ice. There are many products available that have foam heads that are specifically designed to push snow off your vehicle without scratching or scuffing the finish. If all else fails an old credit card can act as an 'emergency' scraper but don't even consider any sort of metal implement!
Some people use hot water to attempt to melt ice from the surface of the car. While this may appear to work, there are two potential side effects as the sudden change of temperature could cause glass to crack or shatter. Additionally, if the ambient temperature is still below freezing, the water falling on the ground will re-freeze, leaving an ice rink in your parking space or driveway.
De-icer is a faster solution for easy removal of ice & frost from car glass. It’s best to use this sparingly as prolonged use can damage paintwork, stain trims and tarnish brightwork.
Starting your car and allowing it to warm up before you drive is the most effective way to slowly melt ice without running the risk of damaging your car. While effective, it is takes time in your busy schedule and your car could be vulnerable to theft if left unattended. Your insurers are also most unlikely to cover such a loss!
Covering your car with a quality fitted cover is the best way to counter the most common winter problems. A good cover will keep the snow and ice from settling directly on your car preserving your paint and allowing quick removal. Without snow left directly on the car, you will experience less cold temperature problems like doors frozen shut and you will also decrease the risk of impacting the vehicles fluid systems.
Our Monsoon car covers are specifically made for long term winter storage. These are heavy duty waterproof & vented outdoor covers for cars that are not used through the winter or only used occasionally. A heavy PVC outer and soft inner lining make these an ideal choice where absolute waterproofing is essential. Monsoon covers are completely impermeable and encourages any dew or frost to form on the outside of the cover (unlike breathable fabrics) ensuring that the car remains totally dry.
All our covers utilise modern high-tech materials and manufacturing techniques that ensure maximum protection. If you have further questions please call us on 01903 764689 or shop online at www.cover-zone.com.